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Wildcats aiming for the top in Metro boys race

Westview taking aim at eight-time Metro champ Jesuit in golf


by: MILES VANCE - SENIOR LEADER - Westview senior Nick Baines tied for medalist honors with a 69 on Monday at Langdon Farms, and hopes to carry his team to a Metro League championship this year.

Game on.

The Metro League kicked off its 2013 boys golf race on Monday, and the title chase may be more exciting than ever before.

Westview’s boys, already considered the favorite for 2013, won Monday’s event by six strokes over eight-time Metro champion Jesuit, while both Sunset and Lincoln showed they were ready to compete too.

None of that came as a surprise to the league’s coaches.

“I would expect Westview and Jesuit to go to state, but Sunset could make a run at second,” said Westview coach Forbes Robinson. “I expect Jesuit and Sunset to both be strong so it should make for a fun year.”

I think “Westview will win the league and Jesuit will qualify, with an outside chance of Sunset sneaking in ahead of Jesuit,” said Southridge assistant coach Sean Mailey.

“After seeing the results from our first Metro League tournament, it looks like there will be at least four teams battling for the top two spots this year in the Metro League,” added Jesuit coach Jay Minsker. “It looks like Westview ... will be the team to beat each week. I believe that Jesuit, Sunset and Lincoln will be the other three teams competing for the top two spots this year.”

For a season that was, for all intents and purposes, canceled by the Beaverton School District last spring due to funding shortfalls, Monday’s return to action was gratifying for all involved.

“We, as a league, are happy to be back swinging the clubs again,” said Beaverton coach Brad Harvey, crediting Nike Golf and First Tech Federal Credit Union, two of the key sponsors in the fundraising process that restored golf for the 2013-15 seasons. “Without their help, and the community’s, the Metro League would have been history. Now we are back to make (history) rather than remember it.”

Following are previews of the Metro League’s six Beaverton-area varsity teams.

ALOHA

ALOHA — Aloha battled in 2012.

Competing in the toughest league in the state, the Warriors took their best shots and were rewarded — if modestly — by climbing out of the Metro League cellar for the first time since finishing eighth in the 10-team Metro in 2006.

But the Warriors know there are challenges ahead in 2013.

“We had as much success last year as we have had in many years,” said Aloha coach Vince Kirnak. “We have no returning varsity players, though, so we are very inexperienced this year.”

That doesn’t mean Aloha won’t compete this season. The 2013 Warriors will likely be led by two seniors who were part of the program last year, Nate Ashby and Bryan Giske. Also ready for varsity action this year are senior Jonny Schwartz and Addisen Johnson, and sophomore Kyle Wilson.

“We have some good athletes who came out for golf this year, so we expect them to improve rapidly,” Kirnak said. And “we have a good group of senior leaders.”

BEAVERTON

BEAVERTON — The 2012 season was, to be honest, a struggle for the Beaverton boys golf team.

The Beavers came into last year’s Metro League race with a handful of varsity returners and the belief that they’d be able to compete every week. Instead, Beaverton finished last in the ever-tough Metro League.

With that as pre-text, the 2013 Beavers enter this season with a different mindset — they’re just aiming to get better. Every match, every week, every day, every hole and every swing.

“We, as a team, are always moving forward and we hope to climb the ladder in the Metro League,” said Beaverton coach Brad Harvey, the Metro League’s longest-tenured head coach.

This year’s Beaverton crew features its top two players from 2012, senior Ben Lawrence and senior Andrew Pryor, as well as fellow junior returners Auddie Reynolds and Jack Haner. New to the Beaver lineup are talented freshman Max Murai and junior Austin Kihn.

“Max is a great addition to the rich history at Beaverton High,” Harvey said. “I expect his name to be near the top in the future.”

JESUIT

BEAVERTON — Jesuit has been on top for a long time.

A very, very long time.by: MILES VANCE - DRIVE IT - Jesuit's PJ Hummelt (shown here on Monday at Langdon Farms) and the Crusaders think they can win the Metro again in 2013.

Indeed, the Crusaders won their eighth straight Metro League title in 2012 and would dearly love to make it nine this year. That said, the challenge to their supremacy may be greater than ever in 2013.

“We will have our work cut out for us every week,” said Jesuit coach Jay Minsker. “All of our players are working hard to continue the winning tradition we have had at Jesuit over the past several years.”

This year’s Jesuit team is young but talented, led by its three varsity returners, senior Evan Kalomiris, junior David Ganz and sophomore PJ Hummelt. Also ready for varsity time are junior RJ Tennant, junior Matt Veber, sophomore Michael DaSilva, and freshmen Mike Petroff, Dylan Johnson and Carson Little.

“I think this year’s team will be very competitive, even though there could be as many as three freshman playing at the varsity level on any given week,” Minsker said. “I feel that we have the talent and depth to compete for one of the top two spots in the Metro League this year. We may be young, but ... our group of freshman and sophomores is probably the most talented group we have had.”

SOUTHRIDGE

BEAVERTON — At Southridge, the 2013 season marks the start of the post-Nigel Lett era.

Lett, a two-time Metro medalist, set a school record for low scoring average and also the Metro record for low round of 64 before heading off to the University of Nevada.

The Skyhawks also must replace the departed Justin Lee — the team’s No. 2 player last year — but still have plenty of talent on hand, led by senior returners Tyler Barrett, Matt Hanna (a second team all-leaguer in 2012) and Peter Styner.

“Matt Hanna has been accepted to Harvard, which just lets us know that the sky is the limit for him in whatever he works on,” said Southridge assistant Sean Mailey. “Tyler has all the physical tools to be under par each week, and Peter is a super-hard worker with an ability to be in the 70s each week.”

The rest of the varsity will include junior Brian Pete, junior Perry Cheatle, junior Davin Pease, and junior Brian Wang.

“We should be around fourth or fifth in league this year,” Mailey added. The “keys to our success would be having Tyler and Matt firing around even par and having Peter and Brian in the mid 70s.”

SUNSET

CEDAR MILL — Sunset plans on being there. Right from the start and right to the end.

The Apollo boys golf team placed just fourth in the 2012 Metro League race and haven’t qualified for state as a team since 2008, but they know none of that matters in 2013.

And Sunset coach Brian Kienlen knows just what it will take to get the Apollos back to state.

“Consistency,” Kienlen said. If we can be consistent, “we hope to qualify for state.”

This year’s Sunset team must deal with the graduation of Trey Pflug, a player who posted the top Sunset score in all but oneof the 2012 Metro tournaments, but seems well-armed to do so thanks to the return of juniors Mitch Gatzke and Chris Lou, and sophomore Cam Smith.

Gatzke shot a 69 in week four of the 2012 Metro season to lead his team, and is hoping for much more of that in 2013, and Smith stepped up with a 69 to win this year’s Metro opener at Langdon Farms on Monday. New to the Sunset varsity lineup this year are sophomore Jackson Hval and freshman Harry Kim.

WESTVIEW

ROCK CREEK — It’s been a long time.

The last time the Westview boys golf team won an outright Metro League title was way back in 2001, but the Wildcats are hoping to rectify that in 2013.

Westview, which shared the Metro title with Jesuit in 2010, thinks it has the right stuff this year.

“I think we have a great chance of winning the Metro League title this year,” said Westview coach Forbes Robinson. “We have a very strong team with three or four guys who can shoot par or better.”

The 2013 Wildcats feature two returning all-leaguers in senior Alec Fourie (he was a first-team all-Metro performer in 2012) and senior Nick Baines (a 2012 second-teamer), and Robinson is expecting huge things from both.

“I expect Nick and Alec to lead the team this year and finish in the top five in league,” Robinson said. “They are our most experienced players and both went to state individually last year.”

The rest of the varsity will include sophomore Hunter Wescott, juniors Brandon Keller and Trent Glasgow, and seniors Adam Johnson, Hunter Prins and Mitch McCurdy.

“Hunter Wescott has improved a lot from last year to this year ... Trent has been very consistent (and) Brandon is steady and has played a lot during the offseason.”




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