Colorado Springs Metro League
Coach: Rick Rienks, 2nd season
Returning athletes: Alexander Cintron, So.; Jack Cintron, Jr.; Jacob Crandall, Sr.; Andrew Merz, So.
Other top athletes: Noah Keller, Fr.
Outlook: “We have a very good group returning from last year,” Rienks said.
Notes: The Cougars look to have a productive season with experienced golfers.
Coach: Cheri Rogers, 18th season
Returning athletes: Cameron Biddle, Sr.; Avery Henderson, Sr.; Nicolas Hernandez, So.; David Ruddy, Sr.
Outlook: “We had five seniors graduate each of the last three years and with the exception of our three returning seniors we are definitely in a building year,” Rogers said.
Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans
Coach: Matthew Sutter, 6th season
Returning athletes: Hunter McCormick, Sr.; Zach Nixon, Sr.
Outlook: “We are excited about the recent growth of our student-athletes and the opportunity to compete/learn life lessons/grow as a team,” Sutter said.
Coach: Stanley Woodworth, 27th season
Returning athletes: Tyler Barcelon, Sr.; Brandon Bervig, Sr.; Lucas Howell, Sr.; Alex Ruggles, Sr.
Outlook: “Along with being good golfers, they are also strong students,” Woodworth said about this year’s squad.
Notes: The Lancers are looking to win the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League title for the third consecutive season.
Coach: Tateum Bowers, 2nd season
Returning athletes: Nolan Chavez, Sr.; Finn Gilkes, So.; Eli Gordan, Sr.; Presley Greier, Sr.; Jackson Lewis, Jr.; Kenton McCurry, Sr.; Andrew Swankowski, Jr.
Other top athletes: Ben Sosa, Jr.
Outlook: “I am working this year to continue to develop the underclassman golfers as I will graduate four seniors,” Bowers said. “The young men on my team are all outstanding citizens and I am looking forward to continuing a tradition of golf excellence at Palmer.”
Notes: Greier is returning after missing the state tournament by just a few strokes.
Pine Creek Eagles
Coach: Joey Fillo, 2nd season
Returning athletes: Luke Doyle, Jr.; Hunter Piggot, Sr.; Ken Steele, Jr.; Trey Valdez, So.; Evan Waring, Jr.
Outlook: The Eagles boast “a young team getting better with more experience,” Fillo said.
Notes: Doyle is the lone returning Eagles player who competed at last year’s Class 5A state tournament.
Coach: Scott Blatnick, 6th season
Last year: Qualified two golfers to state tournament.
Returning athletes: Caden Bailey, Jr.; Justin Como, Jr.; Owen Crispin, Sr.
Outlook: “We should have some other athletes that can compete for state,” Blatnick said.
Notes: The Rams will be led by Como and Bailey, who qualified for last year’s Class 5A state tournament. They placed 57th and 84th, respectively.
The Classical Academy
Coach: Bob Gravelle, 8th season
Returning athletes: Ryan Beckman, Sr.; Liam O’Halloran, Jr.; Bryce Peterson, Jr.; Tyler Trogstad, Jr.
Other top athletes: Ben Devolve, Fr.
Outlook: “This has the potential to be the best team I have coached,” Gravelle said. “We are hopeful of repeating as CSML 4A champs, and have the goal of sending a four-man team to the 3A state championship in Boulder.”
Notes: O’Halloran and Trogstad both qualified for the state tournament and finished 27th and 81st, respectively.
Mesa Ridge Grizzlies
Coach: James Huerena, 12th season
Returning athletes: Jaden Hoffman, So.; Johnathan Menini, Jr.; Jacob Workentine, Sr.
Outlook: Huerena said the Grizzlies are a “young team looking to improve from last season.”
Coach: Chris Morrell, 8th season
Returning athletes: Justin Leach, Jr.; Joey Stroup, Sr.; Noah Thirsk, Sr.
Outlook: Morrell said he’s excited about “a couple freshmen who could contribute to team” and “building the skills of returning players.”
Notes: The Gladiators return one state tournament participant in Stroup, who finished 72nd last season.
Pikes Peak Athletics Conference
Air Academy Kadets
Coaches: Ron Gorr, 4th season/Phil Roiko, 10th season
Returning athletes: Ethan Bloomfield, Sr.; Gage Nartker, Sr.
Other top athletes: Parker Embaugh, So.; Reagan Hasselstrom, Jr.
Outlook: The Kadets have a “quality group of young players joining our program this year,” Gorr said. “Excited about his year and the future.”
Cheyenne Mountain Indians
Coach: John Carricato, 20th season
Returning athletes: Aiden Clark, Jr.; Colby Erdossy, So.; Brad Helton, So.; Keaton Hulen, Sr.; Gabe Marmon, Jr.; Connor Moberly, So.; Grant Mondejar, Jr.; Ryan Stedman, jr.; Keegan Sullivan, Sr.
Outlook: Asked what he’s most excited about this season, Carricato said: “Young team with talent.”
Notes: Hulen had an impressive showing at the state tournament, finishing 24th overall.
Discovery Canyon Thunder
Last year: The Thunder finished sixth overall at the state tournament.
Coach: Mark Liggett, 7th season
Returning athletes: Kaden Ford, So.
Outlook: “We have a well rounded team and a deep lineup for years to come,” Liggert said.
Vista Ridge Wolves
Coach: Devin Allen, 4th season
Returning athletes: Ryan Shaffer, Sr.; Riley Sparks, Sr.; Ryan Van Horn, Jr.
Other top athletes: Lucas Holm, So.
Outlook: “We have a great blend of upperclassmen and young players who return to boys golf for us,” Allen said. “I look forward to seeing if they can put all the elements of the game together.”
Notes: The Wolves hope to qualify at least one golfer to the state tournament. The last time Vista Ridge boasted a qualifier was in 2013, when Dylan Hall made it.
Coach: Spencer Smith, 2nd season
Returning athletes: Kellen McCoin, Jr.
Outlook: Smith is looking forward to “watching the kids grow and be able to become better golfers,” the coach said.
Notes: Elizabeth has seen a significant jump on the roster, considering 13 players have signed up this season compared to just three last year.
Manitou Springs Mustangs
Coach: Ken Vecchio, 17th season
Returning athletes: Joey Allen, jr.;Christian Mack, Sr., Gentry Sullivan Jr.
Other top athletes: Joah Armour, So.; Ridley Le Gere, Jr.; Kyle Huyge So.; Caden Salladay, So.
Outlook: “We have a lot of players who return from last season who have improved quite a bit,” Vecchio said. “If we get consistent on scoring shots we should be able to compete in the Tri-Peaks League.”
St. Mary’s Pirates
Coach: Grady Castle, 5th season
Returning athletes: Nick Baca, Sr.; Luke Calvin, So.; RJ Davis, So.; Anthony Huber, So.; JW Mills, Jr.; Peter Stinar, So.
Outlook: Castle has high hopes for his team, saying, “St. Mary’s also is right in the thick of the varsity team competition as well.”
Notes: Keep an eye on Stinar, a sophomore who finished tied for 39th place — with four others — at the state tournament. Castle said he believes Stinar could challenge for the Tri-Peaks League individual title.
by chhun sun, the gazette