Coach: Rick Uhlir
The Scorecard: After falling one stroke short of going to state as a team last season, the Panthers have some extra motivation to get over the hump in 2019. They’ve got a solid Front Range League-ready group returning in state qualifiers Grant Alqatami and Jaden Park, as well as low scorer Andrew Platt who is battling a preseason injury. Veteran head coach Rick Uhlir and the Boulder boys have been right on the cusp of sending a team to state for several years now and believe this could be the season in which they finally get a third player qualified.
Coach: Tony Ferraro
The Scorecard: The Eagles return just one state qualifier in senior Ryan Jenson, who placed 64th in 5A last fall. But that doesn’t mean the cupboard is bare, apparently. At Broomfield’s tryouts, the Eagles had seven players shooting in the low 70s or better and two, led by a 66 from senior Carson Briggs, carding scores in the 60s. With 13 players on the roster, Broomfield has set a goal of finishing top three in the Front Range League and sending a four-man team to state.
Coach: John Zerwin
The Scorecard: Finishing first in the Front Range League, first at regional and sixth at the 5A state tournament made last fall a successful one for the Knights. And yet, they were still disappointed at how they performed on the biggest stage. Well, the Knights return a trio of state qualifiers — Ryder Heuston (7th), Will Chadwick (19th) and Brett Reamon (42nd) — and are hungry to perform better than last year. If they can improve and fill in around an already promising core, head coach John Zerwin believes the Knights can make a run at state.
Coach: Bobby Ortega
The Scorecard: Youth and inexperience will be the overriding themes of the Lightning’s 2019 season. That’s often what ends up happening in high school golf when a team like Legacy, which finished 12th in 5A last fall, graduates six seniors including four state qualifiers. Most of this year’s rebuilding team will be sophomores and freshmen, and senior Trenton Homchanh and sophomore Tommy Hammond will be the primary contributors. Both Homchanh and Hammond, who lettered as a freshman in 2018, are capable of breaking 80 consistently and coach Bobby Ortega is excited to see what their scores look like at the end of the season.
Coach: Geoff Findley
The Scorecard: The Coyotes graduated three significant senior contributors from last year’s team that placed fourth in the Front Range League, and they’re already battling some adversity as the 2019 season opens. Monarch senior and state qualifier Brayden Weiss recently suffered an avulsion fracture in his right elbow, which will sideline him indefinitely — though the Coyotes hope to have him back in time for regionals. With all of that said, much of the Monarch boys’ success will depend on how their younger players develop and progress.
Coach: Ricardo Cabrera
The Scorecard: Ricardo Cabrera joins the Centaurus boys golf team as its new head coach this fall. Under Cabrera, the Warriors will have to fill the void left by graduated senior Nicholas Vaver, who placed 13th in 4A last fall. But with a roster devoid of seniors, they will at least have two years to develop players into state qualifiers. In the short term, Cabrera thinks finishing out the year in the top half at regionals in a reasonable expectation.
Coach: Brandon Bird
The Scorecard: Last fall, the Tigers finished ninth in the Tri-Valley League in their first season under head coach Brandon Bird. But in their second year under Bird, the Tigers may be full of surprises after graduating only one varsity player this spring. Erie returns six players who logged varsity time in 2018 as well as Braden Cafferelli, who averaged 77.2 strokes per round last season but had to play junior varsity since he was a transfer. The future looks bright for Erie Tigers golf.
Coach: Chris DeSantis
The Scorecard: As a freshman last season, Jake Chesler became Frederick’s first ever state medalist when he tied for seventh in 4A. With Chesler back as a sophomore, head coach and alumnus Chris DeSantis in his second season, and a solid core of state qualifiers returning, the Warriors might be set up for a resurgent campaign in 2019. Seniors Colton Gabbard, Nick Formby, Joe Cartelli and Davis Richard will all be looking to end their prep careers on high notes and the Frederick boys have set their sights on qualifying a team for the state tournament.
Coach: Jeff Capaldi
The Scorecard: Longmont was a young group last year and the Trojans are hoping the experience their returners gained will begin to pay dividends in 2019. Junior Adam Gannon has qualified for the 4A state tournament in each of his first two high school seasons, placing 64th and 50th as a freshman and sophomore, respectively. Even with a young group in 2018, the Trojans finished fourth in the Northern League and they could be poised to move up in the standings if everything shakes out in their favor.
Coach: Mike Ward
The Scorecard: For years, the Mead boys golf team has had its bell cow player in perennial contender TJ Shehee. But Shehee played his final high school season in 2018 and the Mavericks also graduated another top-10 player in Kellen Kudrna, so they’ll be quite young and inexperienced this fall. Still, head coach Mike Ward believes his young players have the ability to score low if they can play within themselves and the Mavericks will look to senior Tanner Strong for leadership out on the course.
Coach: Ed Weaver
The Scorecard: Having lost three of their top four players to graduation and relocation, the Niwot Cougars enter the fall with a lot of retooling to do as the defending Northern League champions. With nearly all underclassmen, the Cougars’ focus will be heavily on developing fundamental skills and golf acumen so they can compete at the conference, regional and state levels. Sophomore Christopher Gunlikson and junior Luc Blondeau will be the Cougars to watch this season.
Silver Creek Raptors
Coach: Bill Kipp
The Scorecard: The Raptors finished third in the Northern League last season and return four of their top five players from that campaign. One of those players is senior Garrett Stansel, who finished in a tie for 40th place at last fall’s 4A state tournament. With a good group of talented players spread across all four classes, head coach Bill Kipp feels as though he has the type of experience varsity squad that can build upon last year’s successes and be even more consistently competitive in the Northern League. Silver Creek would love to send another player or two to state alongside Stansel in 2019.
Coach: Eric Leick
The Scorecard: Participation numbers and enthusiasm have been on the rise at Skyline for the past several years. The Falcons finished in the bottom half of the Tri-Valley League last season but if they can continue to trend upward, they may find themselves breaking into the top half this fall. Sophomore Keaton Schell could be a player to watch in 2019, as he showed potential as a freshman last season.
Coach: Arnold Lewis
The Scorecard: This year’s Dawson ladder will look very different without Billy Howenstein, who placed in the top six at state four years in a row. Senior Tommy Skodje will be the Mustangs’ number one and has worked extremely hard on his game, which the Mustangs hope will get him through to state. After Skodje, senior Nate Bernstein, junior Tommy Noonan and several other new faces will round out the varsity lineup under 18th-year head coach Arnold Lewis.
Holy Family Tigers
Coach: Will Wilson
The Scorecard: Head coach Will Wilson thinks this could be one of the best teams he has had, which is saying something since 2019 will be his 14th season at Holy Family. The Tigers were third in 3A last fall and their top three players — Jacob Mason (6th), Garrett Green (16th) and Jackson Grace (23rd) — are all back. Add in a Tri-Valley League honorable mention player in senior Leo Nelson and Holy Family has a lineup that should make them the favorites to defend their conference title. League, regional and state titles are the goal, with Mason an early contender for an individual state championship.
Jefferson Academy Jaguars
Coach: Missy Schreiner
The Scorecard: This figures to be a developmental season for the Jaguars, who have four returning players, including senior Sam Langer, and an increase in participation. Ethan Runyon, who was second alternate for the 3A state tournament as a freshman in 2018, is likely to be the Jaguars top player and best shot at a state qualifier. After that, second-year head coach Missy Schreiner will have a lot of new players to work with as Jefferson Academy continues to build for the future.
Peak to Peak Pumas
Coach: Michael Ventimiglia
The Scorecard: The Pumas were a bit inexperienced last season after winning the 3A team title in 2017, but they’re looking like they could be back in the mix this fall. Senior Davis Long has been on a roll, winning the individual state championship as a sophomore and placing third last season. Fellow senior Suchit Sharma is another player to keep an eye on after placing 27th in 2018, giving Peak to Peak a strong one-two punch to build around as some of last year’s young but talented golfers begin to catch up.
Prospect Ridge Miners
Coach: Eric Hoos
The Scorecard: When you think of Prospect Ridge, it’s hard not to think of senior Walker Franklin, who has placed top four in 3A at the end of each of the past two seasons. But several of the Miners, including sophomores Cayden Koole and Jason Arbuckle, have made major improvements over the summer so head coach Eric Hoos expects Prospect Ridge to show better as a team than it did last season. If the team is clicking at the right time, Hoos believes the Miners have what it takes to qualify for state as a team for the first time.
Bringing it home: recent state champions
2018 — Teams: Fossil Ridge (5A), Montrose (4A), Aspen (3A); Individuals: Dillon Stewart, Fossil Ridge (5A), Micah Stangebye, Montrose (4A), Jackson Klutznick, Kent Denver (3A).
2017 — Teams: Regis Jesuit (5A), Montrose (4A), Peak to Peak (3A); Individuals: Davis Bryant, Eaglecrest (5A), Darren Edwards, Thompson Valley (4A), Davis Long, Peak to Peak (3A).
2016 — Teams: Regis Jesuit (5A), Discovery Canyon (4A), Kent Denver (3A); Individuals: Kyle Pearson, Highlands Ranch (5A), Luke Trujillo, Discovery Canyon (4A), Oliver Jack, Kent Denver (3A).
2015 — Teams: Regis Jesuit (5A), Valor Christian (4A), Peak to Peak (3A); Individuals: Hunter Paugh, Fort Collins (5A), Jackson Solem, Silver Creek (4A), Sam Taylor, Peak to Peak (3A).
2014 — Teams: Coronado (5A), Valor Christian (4A), Sterling (3A); Individuals: Grant Olinger, Pomona (5A), Taylor Rodriguez, Pueblo South (4A), Yale Kim, Dawson School (3A).