Here are five storylines to watch from the prep golf scene this spring:
1. The Kamiak boys are loaded. With Devin Kim (fifth place at last year’s Class 4A state tournament), Alvin Kwak (tied for 10th) and Alex Kim leading the way, the Knights, who finished third in the team standings at the 2017 state meet, are the heavy favorites to repeat as Wesco 4A champions. Glacier Peak returns its top three players from last year, including Tyler Spalti, who placed 28th at the state meet, and Chase Gardner. Another golfer to watch: Mount Vernon’s Kyle Cooley.
2. The Kamiak girls are loaded with talent as well. The Knights return every golfer from a team that finished third at last year’s 4A state meet.
“The dynamic duo of Jane Kim and Annette Vo return. (They took) first and second, respectively, in districts last year,” Kamiak coach Dan Murnan said. “Jane finished second in state last year as a sophomore, shooting a final-round 3-under-par 69. Returning players Regina Park, Rachell Ponting and Minjie Kim have worked hard in the offseason, and their games look very sharp early in the season.”
Other top returning golfers include Glacier Peak’s Maddie Shkurhan and Mount Vernon’s Annie Gilbert.
“Our Wesco 4A girls golf league has a great tradition of having talented players,” Mount Vernon coach Polly Hagg said. “Kamiak seems to be the favorite to win the league. Lake Stevens seems to always challenge for the league title.”
3. Everett is the class of Wesco 3A boys. The Seagulls won Wesco 3A and 3A Northwest District tournament championships last season and bring back their top three players, all of whom qualified for state last year — Josef Koznek, Andrew Martin and Austin Duffy (24th). Arlington, Stanwood and Oak Harbor return five of their top golfers from a year ago.
“Everett, Snohomish, Arlington and Marysville Pilchuck will be competitive,” Everett coach Darrell Olson said. “Wesco 3A North will be strong top to bottom.”
In the South, Meadowdale looks to be strong at the top, returning its top four players — Matt Cooper, Evan Olson, Mason Harvey and Nate King. Others to watch: Edmonds-Woodway’s Joshua Nelson, Shorewood’s Edwin Snethen and Bradley Wong, Quentin Childs of Shorecrest, Cody Oakes of Arlington, Cameron Klundt of Stanwood and Marysville Pilchuck’s Justin Treax.
4. Most of the top Wesco 3A girls players from last year return. “The two Marysville schools (could) be the teams to beat (in the North), but Snohomish should be good too,” Arlington coach Greg Dailer said. Marysville Getchell returns its top golfer, Abbie Braun, while Katelynn Milohusky and Natalia Zieroth lead Marysville Pilchuck.
Snohomish’s Vreni Todd finished 11th at last year’s 3A state meet. Shorewood returns three players who qualified for the 2017 3A state meet — Haley Wong, Marina Babcock and Michelle Lu. Edmonds-Woodway has a talented young core that includes Frances Monahan, Jordan Easter and Brianna Schalk. Other players to watch: Lynnwood’s Abby Douglas and Rebekah Murphy, Stanwood’s Shelby Lund and Grace Christianson, and Maddy Johnson of Snohomish.
5. South Whidbey girls aim for a repeat. The Falcons won the 1B/2B/1A state championship last season and return their best player, Kolby Heggenes, who has finished second in each of the past two 1B/2B/1A state meets. She’ll be joined by Emma Legget and Chloe Johnson at the top of South Whidbey’s lineup. Emily Burdett of King’s, who finished 18th at last year’s 1B/2B/1A state meet, returns. Cedarcrest should be strong, led by returning 2A state meet qualifier Casey Spurr and Kaleigh Carroll.
On the boys side, Archbishop Murphy coach Jack Serwold said he thinks King’s and Cedarcrest will have the strongest teams this spring.
“Grayson Gibbony from King’s and Steven VanValkenberg from Cedarcrest are two of the best (players),” he said. “We have two that will be contenders — Fulton Brawner, who made state last year, and freshman Zack Leonen.”
Other top players in the Cascade Conference include Sultan’s Tyler Aamold and Hunter Morgan of Cedar Park Christian-Bothell.