2013 Portage Trail Conference Boys Golf Preview

By Susan Jenior | Correspondent Published:

The following is a look at the 2013 Portage Trail Conference boys golf season, as compiled by Record-Courier correspondent Susan Jenior:

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METRO DIVISION

KENT ROOSEVELT ROUGH RIDERS

Coach: Eric Hughes, 1st season

Home Course: Oak Knolls Golf Club

2012 Metro Finish: 1st (21-0)

Lettermen Lost: James Strange, four year varsity golfer and first team All-PTC Metro; Kegan Wise, two- year varsity; Luke Musselman, one-year varsity.

Key Golfers: Mike Kenney, reigning PTC Metro Division Player of the Year; A.J. Stronz, one-year letterman and Ryan Crossen, two-year varsity letterman.

Promising Newcomers: Paul Silver, Cole Smith, Evan Ferrara and Nick Mandalari

Depth: Stephen LaLonde will also help provide the Rough Riders with depth for all important six quality scores in matches.

Season Outlook: "We have a young, talented group of players that have great potential," said Coach Hughes. "We look to have a solid season this year."

19th Hole: Kent Roosevelt had a good summer with multiple players playing in summer tournaments. Mike Kenney qualified for the end of the year AJGA championship. He also won the 6th Matt Mishler Junior Portage County Amateurs' 16-18 Division. Evan Ferrara qualified for the Kenny Novak championship at the end of the summer and won the Jr. Amateur's 13 to 15 age division. Cole Smith qualified for the Kenny Novak championship at the end of the summer.

CRESTWOOD RED DEVILS

Coach: Vince Fortney, 3rd season

Home Course: Sugar Bush Golf Club, Garrettsville

2012 Metro Finish: 2nd

Lettermen Lost: Ryan Ambler, Logan Zuponcic, Brett Fsher, Jeremiah Poole, Gina Harmon.

Key Golfers: Danny Jones

Promising Newcomers: Emma Dockery

Depth: "This will be a rough spot for us this year," said Fortney. "We will be playing this year with only one upperclassman and five new freshmen."

Season Outlook: "This year will be a rebuilding year, basically starting over with a whole new team," explaind Fortney. "We are going to focus this year on basic fundamentals and having fun."

19th Hole: Fortney is looking forward to the Tiger Invitational tournament at Sable Creek on Tuesday because it kics off the season and lets teams know where they stand against other schools.

RAVENNA RAVENS

Coach: Brian Callahan, 1st season

Home Course: Windmill Lakes Golf Club, Ravenna

2012 Metro Finish: 3rd

Lettermen Lost: Courtney O'Donnell, OHSAA District qualifier.

Key Golfers: Nick Polichena, Colton Tirpak, Ryan McBride, Morgan McIntyre, Andrew Gibson, Alec Kohl.

Promising Newcomers: Jacob Morris, Tony Brown, Phillip Anderson, Nick Holt, Nate Stein.

Depth: The Ravens have seven seniors, eight sophomores and three freshmen this season.

Season Outlook: "We have a solid group of seniors leading this 2013 golf team," said first year coach Brian Callahan who takes over for longtime coach Terry Kekic. "We hope to be in the mix for the top spot in the Metro Division come September." Callahan looks to Kent Roosevelt, Field, Crestwood and Norton to provide challenges for the team during the season. "We will be leaning on some of our veteran seniors to put us in the mix with the PTC's best teams. Nick Polichena, first team All-PTC Metro in 2012 and Colton Tirpak, honorable mention in 2012 join Ryan McBride as just a few of the student athletes Callahan is looking forward to seeing in competition. "Sophomores Morgan McIntyre, Nick Holt and Jacob Morris will be great additions to our senior players," said Callahan.

19th Hole: Morgan McIntyre placed third in the 6th Matt Mishler Junior Portage County Amateur in the Boys 13 to 15 age division.

SPRINGFIELD SPARTANS

Coach: Jack Morgan, 2nd season

Home Course: Chenoweth Golf Club, Akron

2012 Metro Finish: 4th

Lettermen Lost: Drew Scheck, honorable mention All-PTC; Brett Slater, Chris Shanaberger, Matt Ford.

Key Golfers: Nick Hurd, junior, honorable mention All-PTC Metro in 2012; Tyler Ross, senior.

Promising Newcomers: Zac Fox, senior, returns to the team after one-year absence. "He has a beautiful consistent swing that keeps him out of trouble said Coach Morgan.

Depth: Springfield's roster includes seven golfers, two seniors, two juniors, one sophomore and a freshman. Nick Hurd is one of the only two returning players from last season from the team finishing second in the PTC Metro Division Conference tournament. "Nick now fills the leadership role on this year's team," said Coach Morgan. "He is a very talented player who has the ability to be a First Team All-PTC Metro golfer. Tyler Ross has made gradual improvements to his game said Morgan.

Season Outlook: Springfield looks to continue the success they enjoyed in the Metro Division tournament as the season progresses.

NORTON PANTHERS

Coach: Todd Haynes, 2nd season.

Home Course: Spring Hill Golf Club, Norton

2012 Metro Finish: 5th

Lettermen Lost: Ben Blair, Devon Steed.

Key Golfers: Donnie Berube, senior; Brad Zimmerman, junior; Mason Jueroivich, freshman.

Promising Newcomers: Mitch Zimmerman, sophomore, Tucker Cavanaugh, sophomore.

Depth: Coach Haynes has four to five solid golfers who average 38 to 42 in nine holes of golf.

Season Outlook: Brad Zimmerman and Mitch Zimmerman have been working hard all summer long and have put up solid scores. Newcomer freshman Mason Jueroivich show he could be a number one or number 2 player this year. Looking forward to working with him for four years.

19th Hole: Brad Zimmerman and Mitch Zimmerman are brothers.

FIELD FALCONS

Coach: Dave Wise, 2nd season

Home Course: Sunny Hill Golf Club, Brimfield

2012 Metro Finish: 6th

Lettermen Lost: Two lettermen graduated from the 2012 team.

Key Golfers: Brady Adelman, C.J. Bolton, Jacob Curtis and Cody Stacy return as varsity letter winners from the 2012 season.

Promising Newcomers: Several newcomers are providing promise for solid scores in the fifth and sixth spots.

Depth: "We are a little deeper than we were last year," said Coach Wise.

Season Outlook: Field and Coach Wise are hoping to improve on last year's 6th place Metro finish.

19th Hole: Dave Wise has been coaching for six years but only moved into the head coaching position during the 2012 season. Brady Adelman won one league on the Jay Spitale tour in Canton, firing a 76 at Tannenhauf Golf Club.

(Streetsboro Rockets finished in 7th place in the Metro Division in 2012 and will move to the County Division for the 2013 season.)

COVENTRY COMETS

Coach: Jim Betty, 5th season

Home Course: Turkeyfoot Golf Course, Portage Lakes

2012 Metro Finish: 8th

Lettermen Lost: Danny Clemente graduated and Nathan Strauss moved to Florida.

Key Golfers: Coventry has four returning lettermen senior Matt DeShane, junior Corey Cather, junior Parker Derrig and senior Justin Ortschid.

Promising Newcomers: Kyle Maneval, junior, and Cory Tracey, junior, each have some skills said Coach Betty. Freshman with potential include Joe Englehart and Marshall McEndree.

Depth: "Our depth is pretty good this season," said Coach Betty. "I have more experience than last year but we are still young."

Season Outlook: "It will be a successful season if we break even or better for wins and losses," said Coach Betty. "We have no place to go but up." Betty assumes Crestwood, Ravenna and Kent will be the toughest competition this season. "We all start the same place at Sable Creek on Tuesdsay so we can see where we stand."

19th Hole: Coach Betty and his high school team run a clinic each summer at the Edwin Shaw Hospital golf course. More than 30 kids come out for the two weeks. "My high school kids enjoy it and are good with the kids," said Coach Betty. Nathan Strauss, golfer from last season who moved to Florida, came back to help with the clinic again this season. "The kids have a good time and receive a letter in their file documenting their community service," said Betty.

COUNTY DIVISION

WOODRIDGE BULLDOGS

Coach: Dave Krusinski, 14th season

Home Course: Brandywine Golf Club, Peninsula

2012 Metro Finish: 1st

Lettermen Lost: Josh Kane and Jarod Aspenwall.

Key Golfers: Michael Walters and Michael Seminatore return to the team this season giving Coach Kruzinski two number one players. Both juniors, Seminatore was Second Team All-PTC and Walter was First Team All-PTC in the County Division. "I am very luck to have two numbers ones," said Kruzinski.

Promising Newcomers: Clay Ralston, Cal Kruzinski (yes, he is the coach's son) and Preston Clark.

Depth: "Two kids returning to the team, Aaron Westphal and Andrew Six played varsity all last year and will help the team," said Kruzinski. Isaac Hosford, a freshman, is battling for a spot on varsity.

Season Outlook: Kruzinski is always cautious but offered "We could be very good this season." "I always want to be in the top third of the league," said Kruzinski. Woodridge is returning four varsity players from the championship team last season so expectations are high.

19th Hole: Woodridge has six juniors and six freshman on their team. "It could be my best freshman class of all time," said Kruzinski. "We have some things to do but will rotate the hottest players into the lin-up."

MOGADORE WILDCATS

Coach: Chris Mossa, 7th season (92-37)

Home Course: Paradise Lake Country Club, Randolph

2012 Metro Finish: 2nd

Lettermen Lost: Brandon Morris

Key Golfers: Collin Whitmyer, senior; Brandon Hall, senior; Logan Caetta, senior; Casey Ruppel, senior; Ryan Hostetler, junior.

Promising Newcomers:Eddie Pearce, junior and Kyle Bowers, sophomore.

Depth: "We have a strong, experienced team," said Coach Moss.

Season Outlook: "The league has several good teams and players," said Mossa. "Our goals are to contend for league and district titles and make a run at state.

ROOTSTOWN ROVERS

Coach: Keith Waesch, 17th year (268-78)

Home Course: Kent State Golf Course, Kent

2012 County Finish: 3rd place (tied with Rootstown)..

Lettermen Lost: Anthony Goodyear, Josh Richards & Nick Schneckenburger

Key Golfers: Four lettermen return this season, including Naithan Elkins, senior; Sean McGurk, senior; Alex Kitakis, junior; and Greg Moore, junior. Other golfers battling for a varsity spot include, senior Jesse Ladd, sophomores Evan Chapple, Matt Goodyear, Devin Knoch, Dominic Testa, Anthony Tincher and Joe Weingart and freshman Brandon Tasker.

Promising Newcomers: Sophomore Charlie Eglie and freshmen Brandon Tasker and Ryan Wilson.

Depth: "I have as many as 12 golfers who may see varsity playing time this fall," said Coach Waesch. "We have had a lot of competition during our qualifying rounds for the top 6 varsity spots."

Season Outlook: "There is a nice mix of young and experienced kids," said Waesch. As many as two freshmen could see a lot of varsity playing time this fall. "We are working hard on course management...making smart decisions on the golf course," he explained. Waesch said there are a lot of kids around the same ability level, so it will be interesting to see if anyone emerges from the pack to lead this program. "Woodridge, Southeast and Mogadore will be the teams to beat," offered the coach. Streetsboro could also factor into the equation as it moves from the Metro Division back to the County Division this year. "I will judge the success of the 2013 season on how we improve from start to finish," concluded Coach Waesch.

19th Hole: A total of 23 kids comprise the high school roster, 13 of which are sophomores. Former head coach and now long-time assistant coach Doug Mori is entering his 16th season with the program over two different time periods. He has been the assistant coach since 2000.

SOUTHEAST PIRATES

Coach: Vic Marozzi, 13th season.

Home Course: Olde Dutch Mill Golf Course, Lake Milton

2012 Metro Finish: 3rd (tied with Rootstown)

Lettermen Lost: Zach Morgan, Brandon Witkosky, Collin Croop.

Key Golfers: Returning lettermen Cody Tuttle, Joey Kainrad, Ben Wright, Alec Wilkins, Aaron Burton, Chad Munger.

Promising Newcomers: Abe Wheaton, junior; came out for golf for the first time this year. "He is a good athlete and former football player," said Coach Marozzi. "He has been a pleasant surprise." Floyd Radcliff, freshman, has also been a pleasant surprise, has a nice swing and a nice temperment and seems very promising explained Coach Marozzi.

Depth: Right now through qualifying, Cody Tuttle, Joey Kainrad and Ben Wright have been really solid. "We are looking to have three nice scores and then look for Abe Wheaton, Alec Wilkins, Floyd Radcliff, Chad Munger and Aaron Burton to step-up. "I have four or five guys I can rotate in and out of the order looking for the best scores," said Marozzi. "I hope to keep the hot hand playing." Competition is good for the Southeast Pirates and it brings out the best in the golfers' games. "Ben Wright is

Season Outlook: "We are very excited about our chances this year," said Marozzi. "We think we will be very competitive with everyone." Marozzi looks for Woodridge, the returning league champion to be th team to go through but Mogadore looks to be solid.

19th Hole: Cody Tuttle is the returning Player of the Year in the County Division and competed in tournaments throughout the summer, finishing in a tie for first place in both the 6th Matt Mishler Junior Portage County Amateur and in the annual NOPGA Kenny Novak Championship. Cody earned Player of the Year honors last season while playing with a broken hand.

Aaron Burton returns this season following two years off due to a motorcross accident. "He is looking to be a solid conributor his senior year," said Marozzi.

Ben Wright returns after a year of ineligibility and is working hard to get back the year he lost.

GARFIELD G-MEN

Coach: Beau Norton, 2nd season

Home Course: Sugar Bush Golf Club, Garrettsville

2012 Metro Finish: 5th

Lettermen Lost: Mikey Schustrich, 1st team All-PTC County Division and James Workman.

Key Golfers: Returning lettermen Marcus Miller and Eric Eierman, juniors; and Scott Everett, sophomore.

Promising Newcomers: Sophomore Matt Kuzniakowski and freshman Lauren Jones.

Depth: "We have 12 golfers in the program of which only four have ever stepped foot on a golf course before this year," said Coach Norton.

Season Outlook: "We are looking to improve our record from last year and move closer to a .500 season," said Coach Norton. "Our top four have been working hard this summer to improve their game and score more consistently." Coach Norton said Woodridge, Mogadore and Southeast all have a good group of golfers coming back.

19th Hole: Eric Eiermann, a junior, competed in a handful of northeast Ohio junior tournaments including events at Olde Dutch Mill and Raccoon Hill.

WATERLOO VIKINGS

Coach: Matthew Flanagan, 1st

Home Course: Paradise Lake Golf Club, Randolph

2012 Metro Finish: (did not field a team)

Lettermen Lost: None

Key Golfers: Jacob Flarida, Brad Wise, Ryan Kovacich.

Promising Newcomers: Bradley Curry and Dylan Begue.

Depth:

Season Outlook: Seniors Jacob Flarida and Brad Wise will lead a young team into the season. The team includes four freshman. Sophomore Ryan Kovacich and freshman Bradley Currey have shown great potential to post some competitive scores.

19th Hole: As Waterloo returns to the league, they also begin competition at a different course. Paradise Lake welcomes two PTC teams this season, both Waterloo and Mogadore.

STREETSBORO ROCKETS

Coach: Bruce Thomas, 12th season

Home Course: Raccoon Hill, Kent

2012 Metro Finish: 7th

Lettermen Lost: None

Key Golfers: Juniors Philip Lago, Cody Johnson, Glen Butler and Evan Meisinger and sophomore Ty Butler return to the team this season.

Promising Newcomers: sophomore Cory Antoncic, junior Brandon Miller and senior Caitlin Guartafierro.

Depth: "This season, we will have golfers who will push each other for varsity spots," said Thomas.

Season Outlook: "Moving into the County Division, we believe that, with the hard work that we have done in the off season, we will be competitive this season."

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