Centennial and St. Thomas More are among the best this season, according to our prep sports coordinator.
Coach Mike Wallner’s Champaign County tournament champions are good now and could be even better in the future. The team’s top four players are all juniors. Christian Khachaturian was the medalist in three tournaments, including the county invitational. Other teammates capable of recording sub-par scores are Mike Braverman, Isaac Overman and John Rodawig. “I am pleasantly surprised how we are playing,” said Wallner, whose team won the John Macek Invitational as well as Urbana’s Kickoff Classic. Freshman Cameron Hedge plus sophomores Cole Hagan and Wyatt Small also have been in the varsity lineup.
St. Thomas More
The team leaders are underclassmen, led by junior Chris Tate, the runner-up in the county meet. Sophomores Michael Kehl and Tyler Vodacek also have been consistent. Seniors Jesse Dankle and Chandler Bollman are other lineup fixtures. Junior Wes Kramer has been in coach Mark Tate’s varsity lineup. Tate, Dankle, Vodacek and Kramer were the underclassmen who helped STM to a Class 1A regional runner-up finish last October. Chris Tate, who has produced the Sabers’ best score in five meets this year, was an individual state qualifier in 2012. “We play a strong schedule with many tournaments against 3A and 2A schools,” Mark Tate said.
Logan Hannon — a sectional qualifier last fall — is one of the three seniors in the Bulldogs’ lineup. Other veterans for coach George Gwinup’s squad are Drew Coyne and Michael Flavin. Junior Mitch Hockman and sophomores Alex Marchusui and Adrian Wells are other lineup regulars. Hannon and Wells were medal winners in the recent Champaign County tournament. Hannon has been the team’s most consistent low scorer, though Hockman and Marchusui have led — or shared the team lead — for the best score.
Freshman Ben Carnahan has burst onto the scene, posting the school’s best score (80) in the Champaign County tournament. Riley Thompson, a sectional qualifier last season, and Lucas Wilson are the seniors in coach Tim Bridges’ lineup. The remainder of the top six: juniors Zach Bauman, P.J. Garinger and Luke Meyer. Thompson and Wilson are the only seniors on a 22-person roster that includes nine freshmen, including Carnahan. Thompson has been the team’s low scorer in four meets. Bauman and Garinger have been atop the team leaderboard.
Seniors Andy Bott and Logan Reifsteck along with juniors David Warren and Noah Campbell return from last year’s state tournament team. Josh Heidrick and sophomore Kody Lawyer are also among the Blue Devils’ top six, while freshman Kade Smith is making a push. “We need to keep working on the right things to reach our goals,” B-H coach Terry French said. “We have played in some great tournaments so far that will help us to improve as the season goes on. We have some young men coming up that are working hard, which will help us in the future.” Bott is the two-time reigning All-Area Golfer of the Year.
The rest of The News-Gazette Area Top 10: 6. Blue Ridge; 7. Arcola/Arthur-Lovington; 8. Tuscola; 9. Monticello; 10. Rantoul/PBL.
Near misses: Prairie Central, Salt Fork