After winning a state title coaches often say good bye to a senior or two or three who helped forge said title. That's not the case this year for Thunderbird boys golf.
Thunderbird returns four of five golfers who scored and guided them to the 2012 Division II title. That's good enough reason to tab T-Bird a favorite when 16 teams and 20 individuals tee it up for the D-II crown Friday Oct. 25 and Saturday Oct. 26 at Aguila Golf Course in Laveen.
Thunderbird returns John Souza, Jake Chanen, Logan Gardner and Dan Starzinski. All finished in the top 20, led by Souza (tied for second) and Chanen (tied for fifth). Thunderbird's other scoring golfer last year, Jack Snyder, transferred to Desert Vista.
Canyon del Oro and Notre Dame Prep, second and third last year, respectively, bring back two players each that finished in the top 20. Notre Dame returns Austin Stadeli (tied for second) and Dru Anderson (tied for 17th). CDO's Frankie Wu and Chris Meyers were both top-20 finishers last year. Also back leading Seton Catholic is Austin Nelson, who tied for second with Souza and Stadeli a year ago. Another team to watch is Salpointe, led by Trent Terry, Ryan Tanner and Trevor Webylo. The 2012 state tournament was held at Silverbell Golf Club in Tucson so players will compete on a different course than last year.
Tee times begin Friday at 10 a.m. with the final group teeing off at approximately noon. First tee time on Saturday Oct. 26 is 7:30 a.m.
Teams qualifying this year: Arcadia, Cactus Shadows, Campo Verde, Canyon del Oro, Catalina Foothills, Flagstaff, Higley, Notre Dame, Prescott, Saguaro, Salpointe, Seton, Sunrise Mountain, Thunderbird, Verrado and Williams Field.