In golf, any player can step up and make an impact. The 2018 Cyclone team has a roster full of talent that should yield plenty of standout moments this season.
Last year saw the Cyclones battle through the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and send one player, sophomore Mitch Crook, to the national tournament. Moraine Valley 2017 All-conference player, James Goich (Lincoln-Way East), returns this year to lead this squad of mostly newcomers. Thomas Rodriguez (Peotone) is the other returner. New to the Cyclones is Akim Bizati (Lockport Township) who at 6-foot-4 has the length to drive the ball far. In the last three years, athletes from other sports have joined the golf team; freshman Sean McKernan (Andrew) joins that list as a crossover from the Cyclone tennis team. Paul Douglas (Peotone) and Michael Rollberg (Oak Lawn) complete the lineup.
Coach Matt Lovelace returns for his third year leading the Cyclones and is excited to start another run. "I have a little more experience as head coach now, and I know what to expect and how to react, what to do," he said. "I look forward to the season as I do every year. I have a good feeling we're going to do well."
Lovelace recruited some strong athletes with the hopes of reclaiming a conference championship and finishing in the top two in the NJCAA Region IV tournament. During practice, he's having the team work on course management and playing smarter, not hitting too many times when in tricky situations.
"We'll see how the conference looks, but I think we look pretty good. There are a lot of new guys, and they all have a lot of talent," Lovelace said.
This will be the second season the Cyclones' home course is Cog Hill in Lemont. Their home tournament is Wednesday, Aug. 29.