With such a talented DeKalb boys golf team, all eyes are set on the Class 3A State Tournament this season.
“We have very high expectations for the team and some individuals,” first-year coach Brad Kerkman said. “We have the common goal to get down state as a team.”
Last year, the team was 6-0 in dual meets and 4-0 in the final year of the Northern Illinois Big 12 East. The Barbs shot a 305 to win a regional tournament. A fourth-place finish at Sectionals with a 312 was just shy of a chance to go to state as a team.
It is all preparation for the Barbs. In anticipation of going to state, Kerkman scheduled new challenges for the team.
“We’re playing some courses that are unfamiliar to us,” Kerkman said. “With that brings experience and some new challenges that this team is ready for.”
The team played more tournaments up north last year, but Kerkman said this year the team is heading east.
“I’ve changed the schedule to get in the suburbs ... to prepare for the state tournament and better competition we’ll see at regionals and sectionals,” Kerkman said. “Hopefully, it prepares us to get down to The Den in October to compete as a team for State.”
The Barbs play in a new conference this year. They will face teams such as Naperville Central, Matea Valley and Naperville North in the
DuPage Valley Conference.
“We’re a small fish in a big pond,” Kerkman said. “I think it’s a great challenge. This year, we’re going to have to play really well in all matches in order to be successful in-conference.”
Experience is the team’s greatest strength this season, led by senior Jack Paeglow. He has a scholarship to Illinois State next year.
“He’s a really good player,” Kerkman said. “He’s off to a good start. He’s polished his game.”
James Keck is another senior to watch. He consistently shoots in the mid 70s.
“The thing about James is he’s one of our most outgoing players,” Kerkman said. “He’s got a great personality. He’s got an ability to make everybody feel comfortable and loose, which is important in the game of golf.”
Allison Yohanan is a senior player who started off the season well.
“It’s the best golf I’ve seen her play in the last four years,” Kerkman said.