Behind nine seniors and nine returning varsity letterwinners, the Riverside-Brookfield High School boys golf team has high hopes in the Metro Suburban Conference and beyond.

“[Our goals are a] strong showing in the MSC regular season and conference tournament and either team or several individuals advancing to sectionals,” said coach Jim Festle.

Senior Marc Kaplan and junior Joey Garvey are co-captains and were two of the Bulldogs’ four 2021 IHSA Class 3A individual sectional qualifiers. Kaplan shot 84 and Garvey 86 at the Payton Regional to beat the individual cutoff score of 88. Kaplan and Garvey followed with 84 and 85, respectively, at the Lyons Township Sectional.  

Senior Murphy Regan (98) also returns from the regional lineup. Other returning letterwinners are seniors Will Domanowski, Dan Gilhooley, Aidan Finkle, Jake Tyler, Jake O’Brien and Gus Mendoza. Varsity newcomers are juniors Finn Wambay, Ben Wilkowski and Kevin Cronin and senior Hunter McClintock.

The Bulldogs finished sixth at last season’s MSC Blue Division Meet. Garvey (91, tied for 27th) and Kaplan (93, 29th) finished among the top 30. Regan (96) and Domanowski (100) were the team’s No. 5 and 6 scores.

This lineup could go even deeper.

“[Our strengths are] captains Marc Kaplan’s and Joey Garvey’s leadership, good senior class, and several sophomores and freshman that will play in varsity matches this year,” Festle said.

RBHS girls golf

The continued progress of the RBHS girls golf program has resulted in a second coach.

Fourth-year head coach Doug Schultz now has veteran RBHS coach Jason Rech as an assistant as the Bulldogs’ turnout has grown to 23 total from 18 with two seniors in 2021. 

The roster includes 2021 IHSA Class 2A individual state qualifier Mayan Covarrubias and 11 newcomers.

“They’re coming with great talent,” Schultz said. “The girls that are returning really put some great effort into their summer rounds so you can see there’s improvement. It’s a great feeling to see the growth in numbers but also the growth in talent.” 

Covarrubias, a junior, shot 101 at state after arguably her greatest round with the Bulldogs, a 79 at the Hinsdale South Sectional that shared the final advancing score for the top 10 individuals not among the three advancing teams. Covarrubias earned All-MSC honors after tying for fourth at the MSC Meet (85) and taking third overall including dual results.

Seniors Sophie Swicionis, Ava Storandt, Amelia Gardiner and Abby Roedel, juniors Malia Davis and Kate Newberry and sophomore Ellie Megall also return from the postseason lineups.

At the Sandburg Regional, Swicionis and Megall (107s) were four strokes from the individual sectional-qualifying cutoff score, followed by Storandt (119) and Davis (122). RBHS finished fifth (406).

Swicionis (110, tied for 31st), Storandt (112, 35th) and Davis (115, 37th) had counting scores at the MSC Meet. Newberry (119, 42nd), Gardiner (131, tied for 51st) and Roedel (145, 58th) were the team’s No. 6-7-8 scorers. RBHS was fifth (421). 

Several newcomers strengthen the lineup, including includes freshman Lucia Vazzana and two sisters, sophomore Taryn Schultz, a transfer from Fenwick, and freshman Tali Schultz. They are not related to coach Schultz.

“We’d like to get more individuals qualifying for getting into sectionals,” Doug Schultz said. “We’re still going after a real competitive conference with St. Francis [the favorite], but we really feel like we have the chance to compete with them or maybe for second place.”