Players to watch
Putting is an element of golf that frustrates even the most seasoned competitors. Trey VanWinkle is not one of those athletes.
NAME YR. SCHOOL
Lukas Ball Sr. Watseka
James Birch Sr. Milford
Tanner Buehnerkemper Soph. Monticello
Zach Buesing Jr. Villa Grove/Heritage
Spencer Burgin Sr. St. Thomas More
Kevin Clapp Sr. BHRA
Payton Dunahee Jr. Prairie Central
Leyton Ellis Jr. Sullivan
Payton Grimsley Sr. St. Joseph-Ogden
Matt Horner Sr. Urbana
Logan Hoshauer Jr. Oakwood
Aaron Jayne Sr. Blue Ridge
Masato Keeley Sr. Urbana
Holden Kile Soph. Tri-County
Izaiah Lusk Jr. BHRA
Justin McCoy Sr. Champaign Central
Damien McMullen Sr. Centennial
Braden Roesch Jr. GCMS
Drew Rogers Jr. Sullivan
Luke Rogers Jr. Bement
Zach Rogers Jr. Bement
Dallas Sisk Sr. Arcola/ALAH
Jack Stickels Sr. Centennial
Ryan Tilstra Jr. Iroquois West
Trey VanWinkle Sr. Rantoul/PBL
Sidney Hood is representing her known-for-golf family well heading into her final campaign of prep golf as a three-time Class 1A individual sectional qualifier.
ATHLETE YR. SCHOOL
Macy Baird Jr. Blue Ridge
Lainey Banta Sr. Tuscola
Alaina Bowie Sr. St. Thomas More
Lynsee Clow Jr. LeRoy
Georgia Curtis Jr. Iroquois West
Anna Duden Jr. Armstrong-Potomac
Brooke Erhard Soph. St. Thomas More
Dominick Fuentes Sr. Champaign Central
Jade Harms Sr. Mahomet-Seymour
Sidney Hood Sr. Fisher
Katelyn Kamman Sr. GCMS
Mia Kirby Jr. St. Thomas More
Ashley Long Jr. Monticello
Sammy Miller Sr. St. Thomas More
Natalie Schroeder Jr. Watseka
Joie Sollers Sr. Oakwood
Abby Spiller Sr. GCMS
Molly Stringer Sr. Monticello
Cassie To Jr. Champaign Central
Tessa Tomaso Jr. St. Thomas More
Allison Tucker Sr. BHRA
Ashlyn Voyles Soph. Blue Ridge
Claire Webber Jr. Monticello
Katelind Winterland Jr. Prairie Central
Emma Yates Jr. Mahomet-Seymour
Events to watch
Tuscola Invitational (boys and girls), Aug. 26, Ironhorse Golf Club, Tuscola. Hard for an event hosted by Tuscola to go poorly, and Ironhorse should offer a good early-season challenge.
Viking Invitational (boys and girls), Sept. 6, Turtle Run Golf Club, Danville. This is a good opportunity to see some of the best and brightest Vermilion County in particular has to offer.
Champaign/Piatt County Meet (girls), Sept. 10, Lake of the Woods Golf Course, Mahomet. Big-school programs such as Centennial, Champaign Central and Mahomet-Seymour clash with the likes of promising small-school squads from St. Thomas More and Monticello.
Mike Osterbur, Champaign Central boys
With several seniors on last year’s squad, what is your outlook for the 2019 team?
Osterbur: Last year, for the most part, we had a group of kids that played golf. This year, for the most part, we have a group of golfers. There’s a huge difference between the two. Justin McCoy and another upcoming senior, Cam Baker, have been great leaders this summer in our practices, and that leadership will, hopefully, pay dividends in tournaments this year.
Is this the season we see Justin McCoy challenge for the top spot in the Class 2A state meet?
Osterbur: He certainly has the game to contend at the state finals individually. He’s always had it together, mentally, in tournaments. He never gets down on himself. In fact, the opposite is usually the case and he gets jacked up too much. A barometer of things to come may be how he performs in our tournament next Tuesday at ISU Weibring, which is the site for the Class 2A state finals.
What are the biggest challenges facing this year’s Champaign Central team?
Osterbur: Our biggest challenge is finding a fourth scorer. That’s a good problem to have. Rather than going into tournaments with one or two players that may score low, we have the capability of having three players score well. So finding a consistent fourth scorer in tournaments will be a big hurdle for us to climb over.
Andrew Turner, Monticello girls
What are your expectations for this team after placing third in your regional with no seniors?
Turner: We return our top three in Molly Stringer, Ashley Long and Claire Webber. All three of them have put in a great deal of time this summer working on their games and competing in summer tournaments. They are not only strong golfers, but also great students and leaders for our program. We are also excited to have sophomore Tori Taylor and a freshman, Amelia Patterson, out for the first time.
What will the combination of Long and Stringer bring to the table this year, and how far into the postseason can that duo go?
Turner: It is great for Molly and Ashley to have each other to compete against every day in practice. I also think Claire will push them to be better. Molly and Ashley both have the ability to compete well at the state level. Hopefully, the extra year of experience they have will give them an extra edge to compete at the top level.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing Monticello girls’ golf this year?
Turner: Our biggest challenge will be the youth at the back end of our lineup. We will be playing two girls this year who are out for the first time, so we just need to be patient and let them develop.