PLAYERS TO KNOW

Ethan Alexander, Jr., Monarch: Heads a talented group of Coyotes, who longtime coach Mike Riley calls the best in school history.

Jaxon Franklin, So., Legacy: Comes from golf-rich family and is hoping to help the Lightning forget about its heavy graduation losses.

Yale Kim, Jr., Dawson School: The defending Class 3A state champion is as steady as they come and will be a great role model for what could be a very good Dawson team.

Jack Marty, Sr., Holy Family: A state qualifier last season, Marty hopes to lead a senior-heavy pack of Tigers up the Class 4A leaderboard this season.

Daniel Pearson, Jr., Fairview: Coming off a seventh-place finish at state last season in Colorado Springs, Pearson hopes to climb even higher at state this season in Fort Collins.

Alec Poorman, Sr., Boulder: Would love nothing more than to make amends for a 37th-place finish at state last year. He averaged 70 during the 2014 regular season.

Jace Repola, So., Jefferson Academy: Missed going to state last season by a mere shot. Leads the Jaguars into the newly configured Northern Regional.

Jackson Solem, Jr., Silver Creek: Had an unbelievable regular season last year, not losing until he lost in a playoff at regionals. The sky is the limit for Solem, who attends Longmont Christian.

Sam Taylor, Jr., Peak to Peak: One of three returning state qualifiers for the Pumas, who will be in the hunt for a state title in October.

Silver Creek’s Jackson Solem won every regular-season tournament in which he competed in 2014.
Silver Creek's Jackson Solem won every regular-season tournament in which he competed in 2014. (Lewis Geyer / TIMES-CALL)

Harrison Wagnaar, Sr., Erie: Made a state tourney appearance as a sophomore and just missed out last year. Needless to say, he's motivated to return.

 

POSTSEASON INFORMATION

Class 5A Regionals (Sept. 21-24) — Will be set based on the CHSAA's waterfall system according to order of finish in league play.

Class 4A Northern Regional — Local teams: Centaurus, Erie, Frederick, Holy Family, Longmont, Niwot, Silver Creek, Skyline. Date/Location: TBD.

Class 3A Northern Regional —- Local teams: Dawson School, Jefferson Academy, Peak to Peak. Date/Location: TBD at Highland Meadows G.C. (Windsor).

Class 5A state tournament — Oct. 5-6: at Fort Collins Country Club

Class 4A state tournament — Oct. 5-6: at Fox Hill Country Club (Longmont).

Class 3A state tournament — Oct. 5-6: at Eagle Ranch Golf Club (Eagle).

 

 

TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK

BOULDER PANTHERS

Coach: Rick Uhlir (27th year).

Last year: Won Class 5A Southern Regional; Tied for fourth at Class 5A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Alec Poorman, (Sr., t-37).

Others to watch: Dave Frederick (Jr.); Freddie Gluck (So.).

Outlook: It's a new-look Boulder team, but one that Uhlir is confident will be right back in the mix of things in the Front Range League. Poorman played really well last year, averaging 70 during the league season. The key for the Panthers this season will be the level of help they get from last year's junior varsity that have to step in and fill in the fourth and fifth spots on the varsity roster.


BROOMFIELD EAGLES

Coach: Tony Ferraro (second year).

Last year: Tied for second at Class 5A Central Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Nick Ewals (Jr.); Jackson Full (Jr.); Ryan May (Sr.); Shane Tilger (Jr.).

Outlook: The Eagles have had a knack for playing well at just the right time over the last few seasons. They finished third at regionals during their final season in 4A two years ago and stunned even themselves with a runner-up finish at Green Valley Ranch last season in their first go at 5A competition. That being said, the 2015 version of Eagles is lacking varsity experience and if all goes well, will gel at the right time and play their best golf at the end of the season.


CENTAURUS WARRIORS

Coach: Mark Berkower (11th year).

Last year: Ninth at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Cole Proctor (Sr.); Nick Vaver (Fr.).

Outlook: The Warriors have good numbers with 14 kids coming out for the team. Of those 14, 10 are freshmen, which bodes well for the future of the program. Berkower will have Indian Peaks' head professional Larry Worster at his side to help with the ninth graders. Keep an eye on Vaver and his progression throughout the season.


DAWSON MUSTANGS

Coach: Arnold Lewis (14th year).

Last year: Second at Class 3A Northern Regional; Fourth at Class 3A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Yale Kim (Jr., 3A state champion).

Others to watch: Tanner Fulkerson (Sr.); Billy Howenstein (Fr.).

Outlook: Kim became the third Dawson sophomore to win a state title in the last decade and is the face of a program that will figure into the mix again this season when the state tournament heads to the mountains in October. Lewis called Howenstein the future of the program and gives the Mustangs a legit top three, with five or six more kids competing for the final spot. "We can make a run, but we are young and rebuilding with talent," Lewis said. "We'll be in the mix of some excellent competition."


ERIE TIGERS

Coach: Matt Smith (first year).

Last year: 14th at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Jacob Decker (Sr.); Logan Hawkins (Jr.); Caleb Humble (So.); Kellen Kudrna (Fr.); Harrison Wagnaar (Sr.).

Outlook: The Tigers have some simple goals and that is the way to build the program. Wagnaar, who qualified for state as a sophomore, is eager to get back to the state tournament and will try to be the model of consistency for a young team that has the main goal of having every player break 90 each time out.


FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Coach: Jay Capaul (eighth year).

Last year: Third at Class 5A Western Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Daniel Pearson (Jr, t-7).

Others to watch: None.

Outlook: Capaul and assistant John Zerwin have a sure thing in Pearson, who played really well at the state tournament last season. After that, it is a matter of the younger Knights stepping in and filling new roles. "Our season goal is the same as always, to qualify as a team for the state tournament," Capaul said. "We have a solid No. 1 in Pearson, the rest is going to be based on the hard work and maturing of the young players behind him."


FREDERICK WARRIORS

Coach: Chad Eisentrager (4th year).

Last year: 16th at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Cooper Lindhardt (Sr.); Justin Smith (Sr.).

Outlook: It has been a long dry spell for the Warriors at state and both Lindhardt and Smith are Frederick's best chance to break through. It has been a tough last two years for the Warriors, who have finished last in the regional both times.


HOLY FAMILY TIGERS

Coach: Will Wilson (10th year).

Last year: 10th at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: Jack Marty (Sr., t-54).

Others to watch: Jake Karty (Sr.); Tait McGowan (Sr.); Diego Montoya (Jr.); Andy Nelson (Sr.).

Outlook: The Tigers experienced some growing pains when they moved up to Class 4A last season, but Wilson returns a senior-heavy team that has a vision of making some noise in the league. "It will take some quality work and focus from here to have a chance," Wilson said.


JEFFERSON ACADEMY JAGUARS

Coach: Abram Ziemer (3rd year).

Last year: Fifth at Class 3A Metro Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Keaton Grant (Jr.); Jace Repola (So.).

Outlook: The Jaguars will be without any seniors, causing Ziemer to deem this a rebuilding year for his team. One thing to keep in mind with JA this year is that it moves out of the grueling 3A Metro Regional and move to the more geographically correct Northern. Maybe the change will do the Jaguars good.


LEGACY LIGHTNING

Coach: Bobby Ortega (17th year).

Last year: Fifth at Class 5A Central Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Colbee Baessler (Sr.); Jaxon Franklin (So.); Mitchell Gore (Sr.).

Outlook: This could be deemed a rebuilding year for the Lightning after the losses of Li Chen and Trevor Glen. But both Gore and Baessler have been varsity players for four years and Franklin, along with a talented group of freshmen, will have the Legacy in a sneaky position. "We can be surprising," Ortega said.


LONGMONT TROJANS

Coach: Dan Matlock (third year).

Last year: 11th at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Dawson Fry (Sr.); Cody Iten (Sr.).

Outlook: Matlock has a system in place to develop both the physical and mental aspects of the game to all his players, including the incoming freshmen. "As the players embrace the physical, and show a strong application, we move in to the mental phase, which this year will hopefully result in several contenders for state," Matlock said.


MONARCH COYOTES

Coach: Michael Riley (18th year).

Last year: Front Range League champs; Tied for 4th at Class 5A Western Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Ethan Alexander (Jr.); Spencer Daake (So.); Danny Gallant (Jr.); Noah Gambee (Sr.); Buck Guthrie (Jr.); Cooper Schutt (Sr.).

Outlook: The Coyotes will finally return to their home course at Coal Creek, which was closed and remodeled after the floods of 2013. Despite the losses of Josh Hill and Cooper Taylor, Riley is confident the groundwork has been put in place for Monarch to continue its winning ways and it will start with defending their Front Range League title. "This year's team will be one of the strongest and talented young teams Monarch has fielded since the opening of the school," said Riley, who has been their since the beginning.


NIWOT COUGARS

Coach: Ed Weaver (first year).

Last year: Northern League champs; Third at Class 4A Northern Regional; 11th at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Andrew Seals (Sr., t-42).

Others to watch: Jake Butler (Jr.); Jacob Hirsh (Sr.); Max Kuesel (Jr.); Ford Ladd (Sr.); Jacob VonLoh (Sr.).

Outlook: Weaver, the assistant coach last season, inherits a senior-dominated team lead by Seals and Ladd. Priority No. 1 for the Cougars is defending their Northern League crown and on paper they appear to be the early favorites. How quickly the Nos. 3-5 players develop will be key to Niwot's success.


PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS

Coach: John Thornbury (eighth year).

Last year: Third at Class 3A Northern Regional; Third at Class 3A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Nishant Datta (So., t-20); Sam Taylor (Jr., t-6); Ian Thorpe (So., t-46).

Others to watch: Brady Conant (Jr.); Ethan Tartaglia (So.).

Outlook: The Pumas are in a good spot. They return all three of their scoring players from state last year, including Sam Taylor. The junior, who was in the final pairing at state last year, has made steady improvements over the summer by playing and playing well in tournaments all over the state. The goals for the Pumas, who join Jefferson Academy in the new-look Northern Region, are simple — win the regional and then win the state tournament. Both are very do-able.


SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

Coach: Ryan Williams (second year).

Last year: Won Class 4A Northern Regional; Sixth at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Jacob Gannon (Sr., t-50); Jackson Solem (Jr., t-17).

Others to watch: None.

Outlook: With the return of Solem, who didn't lose a regular season tournament last season, the Raptors have a solid 1-2 punch backed up by Gannon. Silver Creek will have to develop some players on the back end of its lineup to get back to where they were last season. Williams, who doubles as the head pro at Sunset Golf Course, is confident with the group he has coming back.


SKYLINE FALCONS

Coach: Cory Hoople (fourth year).

Last year: Eighth at Class 4A Northern Regional.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Alex Farrel (Sr.); Cooper Martin (Jr.); Michael Silbernagel (So.); Jesse Skrine (Sr.).

Outlook: Maybe the most interesting team in the 4A Northern. The Falcons are blessed with talent and Hoople is confident his team will send some players to state. They may not win the league or be in contention for an automatic berth at the regional tournament, but don't be surprised if they win a tournament here or there. The promise is there, it is up to the Falcons to reach it.

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