PLAYERS TO WATCH

Walker Franklin, Jr., Prospect Ridge: The reigning BoCoPreps.com Player of the Year, Franklin put up an impressive average of 68 last season and is gunning for his school's first state title this fall.

Ryder Heuston, Jr., Fairview: The catalyst behind an unexpectedly high top-10 team finish for the Knights in 2017, he placed sixth individually in Class 5A.

Billy Howenstein, Sr., Dawson School: Now that he has placed in the top 10 three times in three chances, the senior has set his sights on finishing his final prep season by winning the Class 3A state title.

Davis Long, Jr., Peak to Peak: Last season was a big one for the Pumas junior, who will spend all of this fall defending his Class 3A state championship.

TJ Shehee, Sr., Mead: He led the way for the Mavericks in their inaugural season last fall and he figures to be a contender for the Class 4A crown in his final prep season.

 

POSTSEASON INFORMATION

Regional tournaments to be completed by Sept. 21.

Class 5A state tournament - Oct. 1-2 at Colorado Springs Country Club.

Class 4A state tournament - Oct. 1-2 at Flying Horse Golf Course.

Class 3A state tournament - Oct. 1-2 at Boulder Country Club.


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TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK

BOULDER PANTHERS

Coach: Rick Uhlir (30th year).

2017 finish: Placed sixth at Class 5A Southern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Henry Howser (Sr., t44th).

Others to watch: Grant Alqatami (Jr.), Eric Larsson (Sr.), Andrew Platt (Jr.).

Fairview junior Ryder Heuston will lead the Knights into action during the 2018 season. Heuston is looking to improve on his sixth-place finish at 5A
Fairview junior Ryder Heuston will lead the Knights into action during the 2018 season. Heuston is looking to improve on his sixth-place finish at 5A state. (Brad Cochi / BoCoPreps.com)

Outlook: The Panthers were one stroke away from sending a three-man team to state last season and hope to accomplish that goal in 2018 despite graduating top golfer Freddie Gluck last year. Howser finished top-50 at state last season.

 

BROOMFIELD EAGLES

Coach: Tony Ferraro (fifth year).

2017 finish: Placed eighth at Class 5A Southern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Carson Briggs (Jr., 79th).

Others to watch: Ryan Jenson (Jr.), Ben Reifschneider (So.).

Outlook: With one state qualifier returning, the Eagles will be a young group. But with high expectations for a solid core of juniors and sophomores that played in several tournaments over the summer, Ferraro thinks Broomfield could move up in the Front Range League standings this fall.

 

CENTAURUS WARRIORS

Coach: Larry Worster (second year).

2017 finish: Tied for 12th at Class 4A Region 3 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Nick Vaver (Sr., t49th).

Others to watch: None.

Outlook: The Warriors finished in the bottom half of the Northern League last season and will be looking to improve in their second year under Worster. Multi-sport standout Nick Vaver will lead the way in as a senior.

 

DAWSON SCHOOL MUSTANGS

Coach: Arnold Lewis (17th year).

2017 finish: Placed third at Class 3A Region 3 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Billy Howenstein (Sr., t4th).

Others to watch: Nate Bernstein (Jr.), Tucker Heroux (Sr.); Tommy Noonan (So.).

Peak to Peak junior Davis Long will look to defend his 3A state championship this season.
Peak to Peak junior Davis Long will look to defend his 3A state championship this season. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

Outlook: Senior Billy Howenstein has finished in the top three at state in each of his first three seasons and after playing his way into the mix for last year's Class 3A title, he has high expectations in 2018. The Mustangs are hosting this year's state championships at Boulder Country Club and their overall goal is to qualify as a team for the event.

 

ERIE TIGERS

Coach: Brandon Bird (first year).

2017 finish: Placed ninth at Class 4A Region 3 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Shjon Booth (Jr.), William Warner (Sr.).

Outlook: The Tigers graduated last year's three top golfers, including two-time state qualifier Caleb Humble, so they'll be young. Booth, who had a hole-in-one at tryouts, and Warner, who shot an 89 at regionals last season, will lead an eager group of sophomores that will get plenty of tournament experience.

 

FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Coach: John Zerwin (second year).

2017 finish: Tied for ninth at Class 5A state championships.

Returning state qualifiers: Will Chadwick (Jr., t57th), Ryder Heuston (Jr., t6th), Noah Vrancur (Sr., t70th).

Others to watch: Ewan Albright (Jr.), Brett Reamon (Jr.).

Outlook: A young and inexperienced Knights squad crashed the top 10 in the team scoring at state last year and three of those four players are back. Reamon returns from injury and Albright has decided to focus on golf instead of splitting his time between two fall sports, and the Knights think that extra depth can help them compete for a Front Range League title in 2018.

 

FREDERICK WARRIORS

Coach: Chris DeSantis (first year).

2017 finish: Placed eighth in Class 4A Region 3 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Nick Formby (Jr., 68th).

Others to watch: Joe Cartelli (Jr.), Colton Gabbard (Jr.), Davis Richard (Jr.).

Outlook: In 2017, the Warriors sent the Warriors' first golfer since 2012 to the state championships in Formby. DeSantis, a Frederick alumnus and former assistant coach, takes over as head coach and said, "I'm expecting great things to come from the group we have and the incoming freshman class."

 

HOLY FAMILY TIGERS

Coach: Will Wilson (13th year).

2017 finish: Placed fifth at Class 3A Region 3 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Garrett Green (Jr., t33rd), Alex Mumm (Sr., 78th).

Others to watch: Jacob Mason (Jr.).

Outlook: Tigers head coach Will Wilson enters the season with plenty of optimism, saying, "We expect to contend for league, regional and state titles this year. We have four guys shooting in the 70s now and four more with the potential to do so." The Tigers added transfer Jacob Mason, who tied for 16th while playing for Jefferson Academy last season, to an already deep returning group led by two 2017 state qualifiers in Green and Mumm.

 

JEFFERSON ACADEMY JAGUARS

Coach: Missy Schreiner (first year).

2017 finish: Placed eighth at Class 3A Region 3 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Montie Pons-Benedict (Sr.).

Outlook: After eight years coaching the Peak to Peak girls team, Schreiner will take the helm of both the Jaguars' boys and girls programs for the 2018-19 school year. Encouraged by what she has seen early on, Schreiner said the Pumas have a solid, albeit young, squad with solid swings and plenty of future potential.

 

LEGACY LIGHTNING

Coach: Bobby Ortega (20th year).

2017 finish: Tied for 13th at Class 5A state championships.

Returning state qualifiers: Cormac Arroyo (Sr., 67th), Hunter Hayes (Sr., t76th), Grant Hoos (Sr., t15th).

Others to watch: Matt Ammon (Sr.), Ben McCormick (Sr.).

Outlook: With six seniors on the roster and several other playing right on their heels for varsity spots, this year's Lightning group has high expectations for itself. At the minimum, the Legacy boys expect to finish higher than last year in the Front Range standings and send a team to state yet again in 2018.

 

LONGMONT TROJANS

Coach: Jeff Capaldi (first year).

2017 finish: Placed 10th at Class 4A Region 3 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Adam Gannon (So., t63rd).

Others to watch: Eric Wagner (Jr.), Bennett Wiley (Jr.).

Outlook: Expecting a strong effort from at least three freshman and juniors Wiley and Wagner, and led by 2017 state qualifier Adam Gannon, the Trojans will be an exceptionally young team this fall. Longmont will also be led by first-year head coach Jeff Capaldi.

 

MEAD MAVERICKS

Coach: Michael Ward (second year).

2017 finish: Placed fifth at Class 4A Region 4 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Kellen Kudrna (Sr., t14th), TJ Shehee (Sr., t14th).

Others to watch: Houston Irwin (Sr.), Tanner Strong (Jr.).

Outlook: With the Mavericks' top five golfers returning to provide leadership in Michael Ward's second year as head coach, this team expects to be competitive in every tournament it plays in 2018. Mead's overall goal is to qualify a team for state, which is realistically ambitious considering Shehee and Kudrna tied for 14th at last year's state championships.

 

MONARCH COYOTES

Coach: Geoff Findley (first year).

2017 finish: Tied for 13th at Class 5A state championships.

Returning state qualifiers: Brayden Weiss (Jr., t70th), Thomas Volpe (Sr., t64th).

Others to watch: Grant Myers (Sr.), Kyle Sylvester (Sr.).

Outlook: The Coyotes have a seasoned core, which they hope to combine with some promising newcomers to create a strong 2018 team. The Coyotes qualified a team for last season's state championships and that remains the goal this fall.

 

NIWOT COUGARS

Coach: Ed Weaver (fourth year).

2017 finish: Placed second at Class 4A Region 1 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Andrew Elliott (Sr., N/A), Jack Hoover (Jr., t44th), Sam Hoover (Jr. t52nd).

Others to watch: Luke Blondeau (So.), Andrew Elliott (Sr.), Christopher Gunlickson (Fr.).

Outlook: The Cougars should be a solid team this year, expecting to lean on their experience and some strong underclassmen to give them an edge. Weaver expects his team to compete for a conference title and remain competitive at both the regional and state levels.

 

PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS

Coach: Michael Ventimiglia (first year).

2017 finish: Won Class 3A state championship.

Returning state qualifiers: Davis Long (Jr., won state championship).

Others to watch: William Mitchell (So.), Suchit Sharma (Jr.).

Outlook: With three seniors graduating and head coach John Thornbury retiring after winning the Class 3A team title last year, the Pumas will definitely be a young team this season. But there's no better player to lead a young squad than defending state champ Davis Long, who will provide experience and leadership while trying to defend his 3A title in 2018.

 

PROSPECT RIDGE MINERS

Coach: Eric Hoos (first year).

2017 finish: Placed fourth at Class 3A Region 2 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Walker Franklin (Jr., t2nd).

Others to watch: Jason Arbuckle (Fr.), Blake Hassler (Jr.).

Outlook: Eric Hoos takes over as head coach this season and hopes to guide 2017 runner-up Walker Franklin to an individual state championship. After that, the Miners will be young but will have plenty of coaching experience to lean on with Kristine Franklin, a former CWGA Stroke Play winner, signing on as an assistant coach.

 

SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

Coach: Bill Kipp (first year).

2017 finish: Placed seventh at Class 4A Region 3 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: David Brett (Sr., t73rd).

Others to watch: Weston Call (So.), Brody Kuehl (So.), Garrett Stansel (Jr.).

Outlook: Based on the past performance of the Raptors' returning players, first-year head coach Bill Kipp believes Silver Creek can field a competitive team this fall. With a promising and large group of incoming freshmen pushing a solid core of returners capable of shooting low-80s to high-70s, could move up in the Northern League ranks this season.

 

SKYLINE FALCONS

Coach: Eric Leick (first year).

2017 finish: Placed 16th at Class 4A Region 3 Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Brady Hindman (Jr.), John Reed (So.), Keaton Schell (Fr.).

Outlook: As Leick takes the reins after spending the past several seasons as an assistant coach, the Falcons have doubled their participation numbers. Interest and energy levels are up this season, and the intent on having an improved season is prevalent among the Falcons' returning core group.

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