CHANNAHON – Minooka boys golf coach Brian Petrovic says the Indians have “started and ended” with 2012 Morris Daily Herald Player of the Year Jason Chobar for three years.
Petrovic is, not surprisingly, excited to have Chobar back for his fourth and final varsity season in 2013, but he sounds equally excited about the cast surrounding Chobar.
“I really believe this group of players can raise our overall team game back to a level we have not seen in eight years,” Petrovic said. “There is so much talent and potential in this team, it’s actually scary.”
Last season, Chobar was an individual Class 3A state final tournament qualifier, tying for 95th place. He finished second individually in the Southwest Prairie Conference.
After a summer during which he played golf “every day” – whether it was a full round or just time on the range and the putting green – Chobar is hoping to build on the success of his junior season.
“What high school student wouldn’t want to win?” he said. “I’m hopeful that my team can go to state, and that I can go back as an individual as well.”
Two “very talented” juniors, says Petrovic, will follow Chobar for the Indians. Kent Hudson and Kyle Sheppard were mainstays in the Minooka lineup in 2012.
“They are both poised to make a big impact,” Petrovic said. “Hudson is a very explosive player who has the ability to take it low any day. Sheppard is a much more steady player who just plots his way around the golf course.”
Sophomore Ryan Johnson, who regularly played on the varsity as a freshman, and freshman Dan Anfield will be counted on heavily. Junior Noah Lindmark, who was the individual medalist at the 2012 SPC junior varsity tournament, and senior Mike Cappel are also in the mix for varsity playing time.
“This year, we will have a really good team, one of the best ones I’ve been a part of since I’ve been here,” Chobar said. “If we do what we’re capable of, it could be special.”
Minooka went 7-0 in Southwest Prairie Conference duals in 2012. A third-place showing at the SPC Tournament relegated them to second place in the conference for the season.
Petrovic thinks the winning will continue in SPC play and possibly extend beyond it for the 2013 Indians.
“I fully expect to compete once again for a conference championship, but this group of kids have their eyes set on even loftier expectations,” Petrovic said.
“They hope to play their best when it counts and be in the mix for both regional and sectional championships, possibly earning sectional berths and state berths as a team. This is what I truly enjoy about these kids – they are a close team and have set goals for themselves and for the team.”