Barrington’s Cole Kempinski hits a tee shot during a meet against Hoffman Estates and Buffalo Grove last September. | Joe Cyganowski/for Sun-Times Media
No boys golf coach in the Mid-Suburban League should feel more confident heading into the 2014 season than Barrington’s Michael Kallenbach.
“On paper, I feel we are as good as any other team,” Kallenbach said.
The reason for his sense of comfort? The Broncos return six golfers from their 2013 team. Senior captains Joey Batliner and Kevin Altenberger will anchor Barrington. But juniors Tom Calbi, Burke Barsamian and Cole Kempinski and sophomore Tim Lim provide depth for a team that doesn’t have many question marks.
“They all played significant roles on last year’s team,” Kallenbach said. “[They] have all had great results this summer.”
Batliner was the Broncos’ lone state qualifier in 2013.
There was a rarity at last year’s boys golf state tournament — Lake Forest didn’t have a representative.
“We have only missed out on it a few times in the last 20 years,” coach Jim Matheson said. “But it puts a bad taste in everyone’s mouth when we don’t. [It] will hopefully motivate the team to a lot of success this year. Our team goal is always to get to the state tournament.”
The Scouts’ best bets are seniors Jack Garrity and Mac Montange. Seniors Jacques Zureikat and Sean Casey expect to crack the team’s top six.
“We have several juniors who have been working incredibly hard this summer waiting for their chance on varsity,” Matheson said. “There may be a couple freshmen coming in who will be pushing the older players.”
The Warriors will be hard pressed to duplicate one of the best seasons in school history.
Last fall, Deerfield followed its Class 3A sectional crown with a 10th-place finish at the state tournament.
Ian Kelsey, the individual state champion in 2012, is off to Dartmouth. But three members of the Warriors’ state lineup return: seniors Eric Bagg, Jack Dickman and junior Jacob Krugman.
“They played in many tournaments this summer with very good finishes,” coach Jeff Fishbein said.
Bagg had a busy summer on the Illinois Junior Golf Association circuit, with seven top-10 finishes.
“The experience of tournament competition made them all better prepared for this year,” Fishbein said. “Our plan is to return to state and improve upon last year’s 10th-place finish.”
This will be a season of transition for Highland Park. Two-time state tournament qualifier Patrick Flavin is a freshman at Miami of Ohio, and Sam Meitus, a 2013 state participant, also has graduated.
Coach Paul Harris stepped down and will be replaced by Scott Leibfried. He will lean heavily on junior Noah Fishbein. In an active summer, Fishbein made six of eight IJGA tournament cuts. A highlight was a fourth-place tie in the three-round July IJGA-CDGA Junior Amateur tournament at Mill Creek Golf Club in Geneva.
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