But Westview also thinks it can challenge for a state tourney berth
The best boys golf league in the state - the Metro League - will almost certainly lay claim to that title again in 2008.
Led by defending state champion Jesuit - which returns five of its six state competitors from a year ago - the Metro League is locked and loaded and ready for another year of intense competition for its two berths to the Class 6A state tournament.
And needless to say, the Crusaders - who won the '07 Metro crown by 18 points over Sunset - are favored again for 2008.
It's 'Jesuit. They only lost one player from a state championship team,' said Sunset coach Brian Kienlen.
'I think it will be Jesuit, Westview and Sunset. I see those three as the top three in league,' said Aloha coach Ed Duenez.
Still, the rest of the league hasn't given up hope of unseating Jesuit as league champ.
'We will do everything we can to give Jesuit a run for their money,' Westview coach Tim Hall said. 'I definitely think Southridge and Sunset will play better and challenge us.'
Following are previews of the varsity boys golf teams at the six Metro League high schools.
ALOHA - As well as any team, Aloha knows how tough it is to climb the Metro League ladder in boys golf.
Yet that's just the task the Warriors have set for themselves as they enter the 2008 season. Aloha opens the '08 campaign with one sure thing in hand - senior Kyle Memmott was the league's sixth-best player a year ago and qualified for state - a couple other good options in sophomore Kyle Johnson and senior Justin Ashby, and high hopes for the players that follow them.
'We're always battling with Beaverton and Southridge and we probably will again this year. Everyone's got good programs in the Metro League,' said Aloha coach Ed Duenez.
Memmott, however, gives the Warriors a legitimate No. 1 who can battle the league's best every time out.
'He has every opportunity to repeat and return to state again,' Duenez said, adding that Johnson is 'just a natural athlete. He's really picked his game up.'
Ashby, meanwhile, has the potential to compete, Duenez said, if he can just improve his consistency.
Also due for varsity time this season are senior Aaron Bentz, junior Bryce Martin and senior Tyler Dardis.
BEAVERTON - The 2007 season was, frankly, one to forget for most of the Beaverton boys golf team.
The Beavers struggled to a fifth-place finish in the tough Metro League, the lone bright spot when Christian Boudreau won a berth on the All-Metro second team and qualified for the Class 6A state tournament.
And while 2008 offers no guarantees, the Beavers are pretty sure it will be better.
I think 'we make a run for the league this year,' said Beaverton boys coach Brad Harvey. 'It is going to be a dogfight between all the schools (but) look for the Beavers to regain a place among the top teams.'
This year's version of the Beavers will be led junior Boudreau, senior Joe Thompson and senior Nate Silva, who returns to the varsity lineup after a two-year absence. Also expected to make significant contributions this year are freshman Cameron Huber, sophomore Danzel Romos and junior Antony Gallagher.
We have 'Christian to lead the team - he was a state qualifier last year - and Joe, who is going to play at college,' Harvey said. And 'Cameron, I think, has superstar qualities in him. He will be very good in the future'
BEAVERTON - They're baaaccckkk.
And they might be better than ever.
The Jesuit Crusaders, fresh off their 2007 Metro League and Class 6A state championships, are back to make another run at league and state titles for 2008 and seem well-heeled to do just that.
'I think we're going to be in the hunt for the Metro League title,' said Jesuit coach Jay Minsker. 'Our expectations are to get to state and play well for two days.'
The Crusaders, who won the Metro League boys golf title by 18 points over Sunset a year ago, bring back five of the six players who paced their '07 state championship win at the OGA Members Course at Tukwila. That group is led by '07 Metro medalist Jeff Petroff, a senior who also took ninth at state, senior Sam Kloenne, the '07 Metro runner-up and seventh-place finisher at state, and senior Ryan Marx, seventh in league last year and 46th at state.
'It will be a tossup between these guys every week,' Minsker said, noting that Petroff has signed with St. Mary's and Kloenne with University of Portland.
Also back with varsity experience are junior Jake Coleman and junior Chris Satterwhite, players who make Jesuit the odds-on favorite to win the Metro League again and return to the state tournament for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons.
New to the varsity lineup are sophomore Jimmy Buell - who made the varsity lineup in week one - and talented freshman Thomas Arend.
'We know everyone is aiming at us because we have five guys back,' Minsker said. 'But that's OK. This is one of the best years of competition we've had.'
BEAVERTON - The graduation of five varsity players left the Skyhawks with quite a turnover. Behind another large batch of seniors, the cupboard was anything but left bare for first-year Southridge coach Scott Baranick.
Each with a couple years of varsity experience, Lamar Prince and Spencer Barnes return to lead a lineup determined to keep the Skyhawks among the Metro's best after they placed third in 2007.
'It will be tough for us,' Baranick said. 'After those two, we lack team depth. If we can get a couple more kids to step up, I think we can challenge Westview for second and possibly even Jesuit.'
Prince's strength lies in a 'great short game,' according to Baranick, who added that Barnes has a 'good all-around game. Very consistent. He's not a long hitter, but will always score pretty well.'
Both could push for an individual state berth. For the team to qualify for state, Southridge will look for contributions from a foursome in seniors Paul Erlandson and Drew Stricker, and sophomores Zack Vonderach and Brennan Barney to fill the final three varsity spots.
CEDAR MILL - If everyone else is fighting for second behind Jesuit, they'll have a heckuva time unseating Sunset. The Apollos return their top two players - and two of Metro's best - in Tyler Parker and Logan Gerritz, and a crew of youngsters poised to send them back to state.
'Our goal is to get the second spot in our league and make it to the state tournament,' Sunset coach Brian Kienlen said. 'We have two strong players and some younger kids that show a lot of potential.'
Seniors Parker (74.50) and Gerritz (75.17) had the league's third- and fourth-best scoring averages last season, respectively.
'Tyler Parker and Logan Gerritz were both all league players last year and should be in the top five this year,' Kienlen said.
Parker, who didn't play in Monday's league opener, and Gerritz would be strong contenders for half of the Metro's four individual state berths if the Apollos weren't to make it as a team. That will depend on the contributions of Sunset's underclassmen.
Sophomore Tudor Bertea and Graham Kim each saw time on varsity last year and split rounds at the state tournament, where the Apollos took 11th. Juniors Cole Papazian and Kevin Macmillan, and freshman Morris Kim and Daniel Lee are also contending for a spot in Sunset's top five.
ROCK CREEK - By his own admission, Westview coach Tim Hall is an excitable guy. But it's hard to fault him for being giddy about the 2008 Wildcats - Westview returns its top players, has plenty of depth and already got a leg up in their push for a state berth by taking second in the Metro opener.
'It's very easy for me to get excited about this team,' Hall said. 'We had a young team last year with quite a bit of talent but not tournament golf experience. This year, with the experience increased, they've just gotten better.'
Westview is led by seniors John Abercrombie and Josh Barth, who Hall said will 'be competing for medalist honors on a weekly basis.'
Hall added senior Sean Daoud 'could be my most improved player' after a strong summer of junior golf competition.
Sophomores Gabe Ellis and Harry Chang will also see varsity action this year, as will juniors Ben Romiti and Jeremiah Barth, and sophomores Lane Stiles and Mitch Bains.
'We're in a nice situation to have quite a bit of competition to see who plays every week,' said Hall. 'We don't have maybe a contender for an individual state title but many kids can shoot in the 70s. The key will be plugging them into the spots when they're playing their best.'