PLAYERS TO WATCH

Freddie Gluck, Jr., Boulder: A great summer season of golf has the Panthers junior in a position for a big-time 2016 season.

Billy Howenstein, So., Dawson School: With a top five finish from 2015 under his belt, the Mustangs sophomore figures to be a player in Class 3A again this season.

Daniel Pearson, Sr., Fairview: He finished in a tie for 12th in 2015 and will be playing for a shot at the top 10 as a senior this fall.

Jackson Solem, Sr., Silver Creek: After mounting a Day 2 comeback to win the Class 4A championship last season, he'll be looking to win a second title at the end of his senior season.

Sam Taylor, Sr., Peak to Peak: The defending Class 3A state champion is back and ready to defend his crown after winning by nine strokes as a junior.

POSTSEASON INFORMATION

Regional tournaments to be completed by Sept. 19.

Class 5A state tournament — Sept. 26-27: at Bookcliff Country Club (Grand Junction).

Class 4A state tournament — Sept. 26-27: at River Valley Ranch (Carbondale).

Class 3A state tournament — Sept. 26-27: at Saddle Rock (Aurora).

TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK

Boulder Panthers

Coach: Rick Uhlir (28th year).

2015 finish: Placed fifth at Class 5A Southern Regional.


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Returning state qualifiers: Freddie Gluck (Jr.).

Others to watch: Grant Alqatami (Fr.); Derek Cunningham (Sr.); Henry Howser (So.); Jonny Suchor (Fr.).

Outlook: Uhlir was a bit skeptical about the rust his team might show at the start of the season, but there's no doubt Gluck has been on his game the past few months. He showed it again in the Front Range League opener at Flatirons, carding a 70 to tie for first place. Cunningham is arguably the second-most consistent Panthers golfer but Alqatami, Howser and Suchor each have promising games as youngsters. An upper-half league finish is well within reach for BHS.

Dawson senior Yale Kim will be looking to add another state title to the one he won as a sophomore in 2014.
Dawson senior Yale Kim will be looking to add another state title to the one he won as a sophomore in 2014. (Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

Broomfield Eagles

Coach: Tony Ferraro (third year).

2015 finish: Placed seventh at Class 5A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Shane Tilger (Sr.).

Others to watch: Jordan Arreola (Fr.); Jackson Full (Sr.); Adam Tilger (Jr.); Nolan Wolff (So.).

Outlook: Ferraro seeks improvement as a team throughout the season to hopefully get a couple of state tournament contenders similar to past seasons. Shane Tilger finished 49th at state and Ferraro said he's seen a four-to-five-stroke change in the senior, while there are some fun young players the Eagles can build around. Full also is seeking a state bid after barely missing out last season.

Dawson Mustangs

Coach: Arnold Lewis (15th year).

2015 finish: Placed fourth at Class 3A Northern Regional; Placed seventh at Class 3A State Tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Billy Howenstein (So.); Yale Kim (Sr.).

Others to watch: Tucker Heroux (So.); Andrew Platt (Fr.).

Outlook: The front end of Dawson's lineup looks great with the return of Kim, the Class 3A champ in 2014 who finished sixth in 2015, and Howenstein (placed fifth as a freshman). Lewis said he loves the way the pair works off each other while also wanting to place themselves in the best possible positions to win. Beyond that, playing in the Metro League weekly along with Peak to Peak and Kent Denver should draw out the competitive juices in everyone.

Centaurus Warriors

Coach: Mark Berkower (12th year).

2015 finish: Placed seventh in Northern League.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: John Houlihan (Sr.); Nick Vaver (So.).

Outlook: The Warriors were young last year with nine of 14 players coming in as freshmen. They're hoping last year's experience translates to lower scores in 2016, a season that coach Berkower believes to hold great potential for the team to improve. Sophomore Nick Vaver expects to qualify for the Class 4A state tournament.

Erie Tigers

Coach: Matt Smith (second year).

2015 finish: Placed sixth at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Fairview senior Daniel Pearson is looking to get back to state after finishing tied for 12th last season.
Fairview senior Daniel Pearson is looking to get back to state after finishing tied for 12th last season. (Mark Leffingwell / Staff Photographer)

Returning state qualifiers: Caleb Humble (Jr.).

Others to watch: Logan Hawkins (Sr.); Kellen Kudrna (So.).

Outlook: The Tigers graduated two-time state qualifier Harrison Wagnaar after last season but is returning a group that figures to be much improved under second-year head coach Matt Smith. Caleb Humble qualified for state last season and will be looking to make a return appearance in 2016.

Frederick Warriors

Coach: Bill Kipp (first year).

2015 finish: Placed 15th at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Seth Cumley (Sr.); Jake Frenzel (Sr.); Cade Ridenour (Jr.).

Outlook: Over half of this year's Warriors team is freshmen, which likely makes this a year that focuses on building for the future. A new face joins the program as head coach. Bill Kipp, a former coach of the Centaurus girls team, will take the reins and try to guide the Warriors back into contention in the Tri-Valley League.

Fairview Knights

Coach: Jay Capaul (ninth year).

2015 finish: Placed third at Class 5A Northern Regional; Placed 12th at Class 5A State Tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Will Branan (Sr.); Eli King (Sr.,); Daniel Pearson (Sr.); Andrew Perry (Sr.).

Others to watch: Miles Murphy (Sr.).

Outlook: The Knights are sure to compete for a Front Range League title being as deep as perhaps anyone in the conference with the exception of Fossil Ridge. Pearson has two top-12 finishes at state and is a nationally ranked golfer, and there is a general feeling this group of seniors can be more mentally strong when regionals and state come back around this year.

Holy Family Tigers

Coach: Will Wilson (11th year).

2015 finish: Placed ninth at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Colton Clingman (Sr.); Garrett Green (Fr.); Hunter Hill (Sr.); Diego Montoya (Sr.).

Outlook: Dropping back down to 3A should improve the Tigers' chances of fielding a team to score at state, but Wilson is confident the group has more well-rounded talent, too. Green dazzled in the team's first meet, with Hill and Montoya also opening up solid. Wilson said if he can get all five players to shoot mid-80's then HFHS will be in the mix in a lot of tournaments.

Jefferson Academy Jaguars

Coach: Abram Ziemer (fourth year)

2015 finish: Placed ninth at Class 3A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Keaton Grant (Sr.); Jacob Mason (Sr.); Jace Repola (Jr.).

Outlook: The Jaguars will compete in the Metro League this year with the goal of getting a representative to state for the first time in a few years, and Mason's 75 at Aurora Hills in the team's opening tournament bodes well.

Legacy Lightning

Coach: Bobby Ortega (18th year).

2015 finish: Placed eighth at Class 5A Central Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Grant Hoos (So.); Ben McCormick (So.); Jack Rockeman (Sr.).

Outlook: Last year was the first in a long while that Legacy did not get a state qualifier, but Ortega believes that drought will be short-lived with the group he has to work with. Hoos, of course, comes with an extensive golf background and should be primed for a bid while McCormick and Rockeman should be able to post 80's or better frequently.

Longmont Trojans

Coach: Brad Saathoff (first year).

2015 finish: Placed 16th at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Easton Nelson (Jr.); Micah Frattini (Jr.).

Outlook: After finishing last at regional in 2015, the Trojans are focused on building the program back up this fall. First-year head coach Brad Saathoff said this year's Trojans boast a great bunch of freshmen, as many as eight of whom could play in varsity events this season.

Monarch Coyotes

Coach: Mike Riley (19th year).

2015 finish: Placed third at Class 5A Western Regional; Placed 11th at Class 5A State Tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Ethan Alexander (Sr.); Danny Gallant (Sr.); Buck Guthrie (Sr.).

Others to watch: Spencer Daake (Jr.).

Outlook: The state tournament was one that all three Coyotes players who participated might want back, but there's a pretty good chance all of them will get another crack as seniors this fall. Monarch also showed in the FRL opener that it can contend for a league title as all four of the aforementioned golfers finished in the top 18 individually at Flatirons.

Niwot Cougars

Coach: Ed Weaver (second year).

2015 finish: Placed third at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Jake Butler (Sr.).

Others to watch: Andrew Elliott (So.); Jack Hoover (So.).

Outlook: Another team in a rebuilding year, the Cougars will try to overcome graduating six of 11 players from the team that placed third at regionals last season. If everyone plays to their potential, coach Weaver thinks the Cougars could still compete for a top five finish in the conference and send several players to the state tournament.

Peak to Peak Pumas

Coach: John Thornbury (ninth year).

2015 finish: Placed third at Class 3A Northern Regional; Won the Class 3A state championship.

Returning state qualifiers: Nishant Datta (Jr.); Ethan Tartaglia (Jr.); Sam Taylor (Sr.); Ian Thorpe (Jr.).

Others to watch: Davis Long (Fr.); Suchit Sharma (Fr.).

Outlook: The Pumas came together at the right time and ran away with the Class 3A state title last season with Sam Taylor winning the individual championship by nine strokes. With their entire state championship lineup returning in 2016, the Pumas are poised to make a run at a second consecutive championship.

Silver Creek Raptors

Coach: Ryan Williams (third year).

2015 finish: Won the Class 4A Northern Regional; Placed second at the Class 4A state championships.

Returning state qualifiers: Deitrich Berning (Sr.); T.J. Shehee (So.); Jackson Solem (Sr.).

Others to watch: Garrett Stansel (Fr.).

Outlook: After placing second in Class 4A last season, the Raptors will try to make another run at the top spot in 2016. With defending state champion Jackson Solem back for his senior season and two other returning state qualifiers, coach Williams feels that his team has a good shot.

Skyline Falcons

Coach: Cory Hoople (fifth year)

2015 finish: Placed 14th at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Carson Black (Jr.); Michael Silbernagel (Jr.).

Outlook: Though the Tigers likely won't be competing for a conference title in 2016, they will be looking for their numerous first- and second-year players to improve as the season progresses. Coach Hoople expects junior Michael Silbernagel to qualify for the state tournament.

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