PLAYERS TO WATCH

Freddie Gluck, Sr., Boulder: He finished top 30 in Class 5A last season and after yet another quality summer of working on his game, the Panthers' top guy has higher expectations in 2017.

Billy Howenstein, Jr., Dawson: The Mustangs' junior No. 1 broke the 70-stroke barrier multiple times this summer and has a shot to do that a number of times this fall.

Jacob Mason, So., Jefferson Academy: Tying for sixth in 3A as a freshman last year, expectations are high for his sophomore campaign with the Jaguars.

TJ Shehee, Jr., Mead: Switching jerseys from Silver Creek to Mead, Shehee's goal of ending the season as one of the state's top players hasn't changed after a big-time summer season.

Ethan Tartaglia, Sr., Peak to Peak: After finishing third at last year's Class 3A state tournament, he is back to lead a senior-laden Pumas team that has its sights set on a state title.

 

POSTSEASON INFORMATION

Regional tournaments to be completed by Sept. 22.

Class 5A state tournament — Oct. 2-3: at Common Ground (Aurora).

Class 4A state tournament — Oct. 2-3: at Raccoon Creek (Littleton).

Class 3A state tournament — Oct. 2-3: at Indian Peak (Lafayette).

 

TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK

Boulder Panthers

Coach: Rick Uhlir (29th year).


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2016 finish: Tied for seventh place at Class 5A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Freddie Gluck (Sr., t29th).

Others to watch: Grant Alqatami (So.); Henry Howser (Jr.); Andrew Platt (So.).

Senior Freddie Gluck is back to lead the Boulder High golf team this season.
Senior Freddie Gluck is back to lead the Boulder High golf team this season. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

Outlook: With many of his players having worked diligently over the summer with practice, lessons and competition, coach Uhlir is expecting to field a consistently competitive team this season. The Panthers could have as many as six players capable of shooting in the 70s, including several incoming freshmen. They will get a boost when Platt, a transfer from Dawson, becomes eligible to compete for the second half of the season.

 

Broomfield Eagles

Coach: Tony Ferraro (fourth year).

2016 finish: Placed seventh at the Class 5A Southern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Carson Briggs (So.); Triston Schmidt (Sr.); Adam Tilger (Sr.).

Outlook: Base on how they fared at regionals last season and the way they are playing coming into the season, both Tilger and Schmidt feel like they have a shot at the state tournament this season. Overall, the Eagles will be a young team but still expect to finish among the top five teams in their league.

 

Centaurus Warriors

Coach: Larry Worster (first year).

2016 finish: Placed 13th at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Max Whiton (So.); Nicholas Vaver (Jr.); Henry Zeigert (Fr.).

Outlook: With the biggest team in the last five years out for golf at Centaurus, the Warriors are excited about having 20 players including eight freshmen and no seniors with which to continue building a winning culture at Centaurus. Vaver is coming off a strong sophomore campaign and will attempt to qualify for state after narrowly missing the cut last season.

 

Dawson Mustangs

Coach: Arnold Lewis (16th year).

2016 finish: Placed third at Class 3A state championships.

Returning state qualifiers: Billy Howenstein (Jr., t10th).

Others to watch: Evan Breese (Sr.); Chase Fulkerson (Sr.); Tucker Heroux (Jr.).

Peak to Peak’s Ethan Tartaglia finished third at 3A state last year and is looking for even more this sesaon.
Peak to Peak's Ethan Tartaglia finished third at 3A state last year and is looking for even more this sesaon. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

Outlook: The Mustangs graduated Yale Kim, the most decorated golfer in the program's history, after last season. But returning junior Billy Howenstein will provide strength, experience and leadership after breaking 70 multiple times this summer and gunning to be the best player in the state by the end of his prep career. Fulkerson will provide consistency and a winning attitude after being a part of the Dawson baseball team's playoff run in the spring, and Breese and Heroux look poised for breakout seasons.

 

Erie Tigers

Coach: Matt Smith (third year).

2016 finish: Tied for seventh at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Caleb Humble (Sr., t70th).

Others to watch: Kyle Couper (Sr.); Steven Hauptman (Sr.).

Outlook: Now a veteran of two state tournaments, Humble is the clear leader on a 2017 Tigers team that expects to better than it was last season and hopes to crack the team competition at the 4A state tournament. Couper and Hauptman give the Tigers a trio of seniors with experience. Head coach Matt Smith said he is looking forward to seeing what the Tigers can accomplish in 2017.

 

Fairview Knights

Coach: John Zerwin (first year).

2016 finish: Placed eighth at the Class 5A state championships.

Returning state qualifiers: Will Branan (Sr., 59th).

Others to watch: Ryder Heuston (So.); Noah Vrencur (Jr.).

Outlook: Head coach John Zerwin, who takes over this season after coaching the Fairview girls team and serving as a boys assistant coach for a number of years, said the Knights enter the 2017 excited to see how Vrancur and Heuston will build on outstanding summers. After those two players and returning state qualifier Will Branan, the Knights will have plenty of room for players to move up into bigger roles after graduating four seniors in 2016.

 

Frederick Warriors

Coach: Bill Kipp (second year).

2016 finish: Placed 11th at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Joe Cartelli (So.); Nick Formby (So.); Colton Gabbard (So.); Cade Ridenour (Sr.).

Outlook: Entering the season with far more experience than in recent seasons, the Frederick Warriors expect to send at least one player, if not more, to the Class 4A state championships this season. Still a young team, the Warriors hope they will be able to see some of their hard work from last season pay off in 2017.

 

Holy Family Tigers

Coach: Will Wilson (12th year).

2016 finish: Placed 11th at Class 3A state championships.

Returning state qualifiers: Garrett Green (So., 58th).

Others to watch: Jackson Grace (Fr.); David Langfield (Sr.); Alex Mumm (Jr.).

Outlook: On last year's team with five seniors fighting for varsity spots, Garrett Green rose to the top as a freshman with maturity and wisdom beyond his years and qualified for the Class 3A state tournament. Grace, who had a successful summer on the RMJGT, has a chance to have a similarly strong start to his prep career. As the Tigers continue to improve their confidence and course management, coach Wilson thinks they could compete for the Tri-Valley League title.

 

Jefferson Academy Jaguars

Coach: Abram Ziemer (fifth year).

2016 finish: Tied for sixth place at the Class 3A Region 3 tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Jacob Mason (So., t6th).

Others to watch: Jace Repola (Sr.).

Outlook: The Jaguars will attempt to piggyback off of Mason's incredible 2016 season after a number of the team's younger players got a good look at what it takes to achieve success on the highest stages of prep golf. In particular Repola, who has missed the state tournament cut by one stroke in each of the past two years, is expecting a breakthrough by the end of the 2017 campaign.

 

Legacy Lightning

Coach: Bobby Ortega (19th year).

2016 finish: Placed seventh at the Class 5A Western Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Grant Hoos (Jr.); Ben McCormick (Jr.).

Outlook: Excited for the prospects for Hoos and McCormick, the Lightning is looking for support from several other juniors and sophomores to round out the varsity top four or five in a way that will allow the team to accomplish its goals. The team hopes to finish better than sixth in the Front Range League this year and to qualify two or more players for the state championships.

 

Longmont Trojans

Coach: Brad Saathoff (second year).

2016 finish: Placed 16th at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Caden Dion (Sr.); Adam Gannon (Fr.).

Outlook: A combination of returning lettermen from last season's young team and new freshmen should provide more depth and experience to this year's team. The Trojans expect to be more competitive in league play this season and coach Saathoff is hoping to get a pair of players through to the state tournament in 2017. Dion finished second in his age group at this summer's Longmont City Open.

 

Mead Mavericks

Coach: Michael Ward (first year).

2016 finish: Did not have a team in 2016.

Returning state qualifiers: TJ Shehee (Jr., t24th).

Others to watch: Houston Irwin (Jr.); Kellen Kudrna (Jr.); Michael Silbernagel (Sr.).

Outlook: In its first season with a boys golf team, the Mead program is in no way starting from scratch. The Mavericks will be led by TJ Shehee, who placed 24th in Class 4A while playing for Silver Creek last season, and will also have the opportunity to be extremely competitive in their first season under head coach Michael Ward.

 

Monarch Coyotes

Coach: Michael Riley (20th year).

2016 finish: Tied for second place at the Class 5A Southern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Spencer Daake (Sr.); Grant Myers (Jr.); Brayden Weiss (So.).

Outlook: The Coyotes graduated a number of seniors in 2016, so Daake is now the elder statesman on the team and will get his chance to lead the way as the only returning player from last year's starting lineup. With some young talent coming in, the Coyotes could be able to make some waves in the Front Range League if they can get some younger players to step up quickly.

 

Niwot Cougars

Coach: Ed Weaver (third year).

2016 finish: Tied for eighth at the Class 4A state championships.

Returning state qualifiers: Andrew Elliott (Jr.); Jack Hoover (Jr.).

Others to watch: Sam Hoover (So.).

Outlook: For the Cougars, this season is about building on last year's success. That shouldn't be difficult, as the team can rely on the experience of two returning state qualifiers to help bring along the less experienced players in order to deepen the lineup. Coach Weaver's goal is to compete for a top-five finish in conference play and to send several players to the Class 4A state championships.

 

Peak to Peak Pumas

Coach: John Thornbury (10th year).

2016 finish: Placed second at Class 3A state championships.

Returning state qualifiers: Nishant Datta (Sr., t6th); Ethan Tartaglia (Sr., 3rd); Ian Thorpe (Sr., t6th).

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

Outlook: The Pumas won the Class 3A state title in 2015 and came within three strokes of a repeat last season, and they've got the type of firepower returning to realistically set their sights on a state title again in 2017. One of the early championship favorites, the Pumas will also host the 3A state tournament at their home course of Indian Peaks in Lafayette. With a trio of seniors who all placed in the top 10 at last year's state tournament, the Pumas have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming months.

 

Prospect Ridge Miners

Coach: Jason Dumler (third year).

2016 finish: Placed third at the Class 3A Region 2 tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Jaxon Franklin (Sr., t25th); Walker Franklin (So., 14th).

Others to watch: Blake Hassler (So.); Zach Hassler (Sr.).

Outlook: Bolstered by some up-and-coming freshmen, the Prospect Ridge team is looking strong heading into the 2017 season with the Franklin brothers returning after state-qualifying seasons last year. Also expected to have a breakout season, Zach Hassler was the first alternate for the Class 3A state tournament in 2016 and is looking to qualify outright this fall.

 

Silver Creek Raptors

Coach: Ryan Williams (fourth year).

2016 finish: Placed fourth at the Class 4A state championships.

Returning state qualifiers: Garrett Stansel (So., t38th).

Others to watch: David Brett (So.).

Outlook: Losing a number of its top players including state contender TJ Shehee to the new program at Mead, 2017 is going to be a rebuild year for Silver Creek. But there is something there to build on with a pair of sophomores - Stansel and Brett - leading the way. In what is likely the final year of Williams' coaching tenure at Silver Creek, the Raptors will get a better idea of what they'll be working with when they open the season at the Mountain View League Match at The Olde Course at Loveland on Thursday.

 

Skyline Falcons

Coach: Cory Hoople (sixth year).

2016 finish: Placed 14th at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Zach Frantzen (Sr.); Nolan Helmstetter (Fr.); John Reed (Fr.).

Outlook: Possibly hurt more by the addition of a new St. Vrain Valley School District program and transfers, the Skyline Falcons will have zero returning golfers this season and have opened the campaign with just three bodies in the program. With nearly as many coaches as it has players, the Falcons program will be building from the ground up in 2017.

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