The reigning Times Boys Golfer of the Year returns for one last go-round at Streator High School this soon-to-start 2018 golf season.
And like the past couple successful years for the Bulldogs program, he will not be alone.
Second-year varsity coach Dustin Masley welcomes back not only our two-time Boys Golfer of the Year, two-time state qualifier and defending I-8 Conference Tournament champion senior Grant Mascal, but three other Times Honor Roll honorees — senior sectional qualifier and All-Interstate Eight Conference golfer Cole Holloway; sophomore sectional qualifier Jacob Magana; and Marie Jensen, a senior sectional qualifier, All-Interstate Eight Conference golfer and fifth-place I-8 Tournament finisher on the girls side in 2017.
With those four in place and a trio of talented youngsters stepping in and/or stepping up to larger roles this late summer/early fall, the Bulldogs — reigning Interstate Eight Conference champions now entering their final season in the league — justifiably have high expectations for the team in 2018.
"We have a solid core of experienced golfers returning," said Masley, "and we are looking for those guys to lead us. We need some of our younger guys to step up and give us good scores from match to match.
"As a team we’d like to repeat as conference regular season and conference tournament champs. We think we can compete for a regional championship."
In a sport which allows the best individual performances to advance in the postseason tournament even when the team does not, those high expectations don't just apply to the Bulldogs as a team, however.
"Individually, I know Grant has his eye on making the state tournament for the third time. Cole, Jacob and Marie would like to make their first appearance at state. Grant, Cole and Jacob want to compete for that individual conference tournament champion, and as their coach, I hope they can push each other to get better every day," Masley said.
Austin Fairall filled in as Streator's sixth man last season and returns, with fellow junior Trevor Sterling and freshman Cooper Wahl rounding out the varsity roster.
Streator is set to open the season this coming Friday, participating in the prestigious Prep Tour — Illinois Junior Golf Association High School Showcase now hosted just outside of La Salle at Senica's Oak Ridge. Last year's inaugural event included the IHSA's Class 1A, 2A and 3A team champions, along with the individual champion and runner-up in both 1A and 2A.
Other highlights on the schedule include the Streator Invitational on August 20 at the Eastwood, the Interstate Eight Conference Meet September 24 at Wolf Creek outside of Pontiac and the start of the IHSA postseason at the start of October.
Date Opponent/Event Time
8/10 at IJGA Showcase 12 p.m.
8/13 at Notre Dame Invite 1 p.m.
8/15 SENECA, R-C 4 p.m.
8/20 STREATOR INVITATIONAL 1:30 p.m.
8/22 at Wilmington w/ Plano 4:30 p.m.
8/27 at IVC w/ Henry-Sen. 4 p.m.
8/29 COAL CITY 4 p.m.
9/4 At Westmont triangular 4 p.m.
9/5 vs. Manteno 4 p.m.
9/8 at Metamora Tourney 8:30 a.m.
9/10 at Ottawa Invitational 1 p.m.
9/11 SANDWICH 4 p.m.
9/17 at Lisle 4:30 p.m.
9/19 L-P, OTTAWA 4 p.m.
9/20 at Pontiac Scramble 1 p.m.
9/24 at I-8 Meet 12 p.m.
9/29 at L-P Invitational 8:30 a.m.