Don’t expect to see the same starting five early this season for the Sacred Heart Gremlins golf team.
While state qualifier Garrett Kelchner and senior Max Esser will anchor the lineup, any of six newcomers could fill the other three spots.
Sophomore Nate Bailey and freshmen David Baldwin, Alan Bankovich, John Beykirch, Jared Dey and Michael Prenger have a shot at the top five spots.
First-year head coach Tom Dey likes the makeup of his team.
“Our strength is that we have a good group of young players that really enjoy golf and play in the offseason,” the coach said.
He said that several of his team’s freshmen have tournament experience, competing in summer junior golf tournaments.
The coach believes that he has several golfers including the two returners who could qualify for state.
Here’s how the rest of the conference shapes up:
The Smithton Tigers return only one player from last year’s team that produced a state qualifier.
Sophomore Chance Williams returns. Morgan Fairfax, Haley Kahrs, Taylor Marino and Todd Windsor round out the roster.
Cody Williams became the first Smithton golfer to qualify for state. Williams tied for 57th with a two-day total of 182. He carded rounds of 88 and 94 after finishing ninth in the District 9 tournament.
The team lost Derek Gerke, Jeremy Howard and Andre Schimko.
The Cole Camp Bluebirds are building for the 2010 season when they will finally have a home golf course.
The team will continue practicing at Warsaw this season.
Fifth-year coach Kevin Chamberlain returns four players from last season but will have six newcomers to bolster the team’s roster.
“Our numbers are growing stronger,” Chamberlain said.
Sophomore Cody Brown returns and will be the team’s No. 1 player. Junior Dylan Carver returns and will be the Bluebirds’ No. 5 player.
Juniors Trevor LaClair and Nathaniel Veale are back.
Junior newcomer Chad Wasmer is penciled in at No. 2, senior newcomer Dustin Case is set to play at No. 3 and freshman Jacob Everts will be No. 4.
Other newcomers are freshmen Tyler Cramer, Jordan Kollbaum and Dana Oelrichs.
The Bluebirds’ goals for this season are simple.
“To have an athlete who is on the all-conference team and to improve our overall team score in each match,” Chamberlain said.
State qualifier Buddy Dill returns to lead the Lincoln Cardinals.
Dill, a junior, tied for 10th in the District 6 tournament last spring and tied for 57th in the Class 1 state meet last May. Junior Jacob Smith also returns.
Fourth-year coach Danny Morrison likes the potential of freshmen Terry Bickers and Drake Rios to earn varsity playing time this season.
Juniors Stuart Brethower and John Mehrens have earned spots in the top five, but the No. 5 spot is up for grabs. Several different golfers could see time in that spot.
Senior Travis Smith and junior Nick Felicione round out Lincoln’s roster.
The Green Ridge Tigers begin life without four-time state qualifier Matt Lenz.
Without the 2007 all-stater, the Tigers will rely on two returning juniors and four freshmen.
Cody Frizzell and Jay Pittman played varsity last season.
Three of the team’s four freshmen are projected to be in the team’s starting five.
Jonathan DuBois will likely be the team’s No. 1 player, Lucas Cantrell No. 2 and Aaron Keele No. 4.
Frizzell is penciled in at No. 3 and Pittman at No. 5.
Kalmon Roth rounds out the Tigers’ roster.
Ninth-year coach Ernie Haag has set his top three players in stone.
The final two spots are up in the air.
Seniors Ethan Braun, Spencer Bauer and Brandon Folsom will lead the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs might have a tough time filling the other two spots vacated by state qualifier Ethan Shackelford and all-conference honorable mention Wes Mueller.
Four freshmen will compete for those final two spots: Jordan Haag, Dillion Kroeshen, Trevor Nolting and Kyle Putney.
The Stover coach believes any of the three seniors could qualify for state.
“Any of the seniors if they have a good day could qualify, especially since we are in a different district and are the host,” Haag said.