Note: This article includes schools in the writer’s area of coverage, which is as follows: from Fountain Hills west through Scottsdale, all of Phoenix (except for Ahwatukee), the southwest, northwest and northern sections of the metro area. Other locales include northern, northeast and northwest Arizona. Most of this information comes from e-mail questionnaires returned by the coaches.
There are no certainties out on the golf course, but Phoenix Thunderbird boys’ golf coach Eric Gurule has to be feeling pretty good about his team’s chances to repeat as Division II champion this fall.
The Chiefs won it all last year without having any seniors. Gurule is optimistic his team will make a strong run despite the transfer of Jack Snyder, the sixth-place finisher at state, to Phoenix Desert Vista.
“We still have depth at five or six spots this year,’’ Gurule said.
Gurule still has fourth-place finisher John Souza, a senior; sophomore Jake Chanen (ninth), senior Logan Gardner (13th) and junior Dan Starzinski (23rd).
Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep, which finished third in Division II, is led by two outstanding seniors, Austin Stadeli and Dru Anderson. Stadeli finished third individually and Anderson 19th.
Anthem Boulder Creek had three of its top golfers graduate and move on to play in college, but coach Jay Kopas still has the nucleus of a possible contending team in Division I. The team finished sixth a year ago.
Six of the Jaguars’ top nine return, with senior Riley Schank and sophomore Cooper Langston leading the way.
Phoenix Brophy Prep lost third-place (tie) finisher Tyler Kertson after finishing third in Division I, but will rely on sophomore Michael Feagles (12th) for consistency.
Scottsdale Desert Mountain finished fifth in 2012, Phoenix Pinnacle ninth and Scottsdale Chaparral 10th. Chaparral has a new coach this year in Daniel Peterson.
Surprise Willow Canyon could be a surprise team. Coach Brandon Martin has a solid group of returnees in junior Matt Kistler, junior A.J. Rosen and senior Brendan Graham, and a promising newcomer in Cade Mayer.
Goodyear Millennium will be led by senior Austin Glendinning, who tied for eighth in Division I. Dillon Courtwright and Vincent Sansoterra also are expected to play significant roles.
Glendale Independence will be rebuilding after the graduation of Anthony Quezada, the No. 2 finisher in Division I. Andrew Estrada is expected to be one of the top players for the Patriots.