Review 1997 Kaneland Golf Season

1998 Golf Season Preview

This Year's Kaneland golf team will have to depend on underclassmen to step into leadership roles, as the team has no seniors. However, juniors Billy Lamb, Tyrel Williams, and Dustin Darnold have had plenty of experience.

"It doesn't bother me at all," says coach Richard Ross of the lack of senior leadership on the team. "A lot of these guys were playing on the varsity last year. We have got some depth."

Other key players on the roster are sophomores Tom Lang, Eric Barr and Kyle Donka.

"We have a pretty competitive group of guys," says Ross. According to Ross, the team will draw from its experience, depth and attitude to make this season a successful one.

"We have to play one match at a time. The guys have set their own goals, and they have the ability to do well," says the coach.

Last year the team was surprisingly knocked out of the regionals by just four strokes. "Last season ended with a distant thud... this year we want to go beyond the regionals," Ross stated.

1998 Kaneland Golf Schedule
Tuesday 8/25/98 Marengo 4:15 PM H
Wednesday 8/26/98 Lisle 4:00 PM H
Thursday 9/3/98 Minooka 4:00 PM A
Tuesday 9/8/98 Geneva 4:00 PM H
Thursday 9/10/98 Sycamore 4:00 PM A
Saturday 9/12/98 Wheaton Academy 8:00 AM A
Tuesday 9/15/98 Morris 4:00 PM A
Thursday 9/17/98 Yorkville 4:00 PM H
Saturday 9/19/98 Sandwich Tournament 12:30 AM A
Tuesday 9/22/98 Batavia 4:00 PM H
Thursday 9/24/98 Oswego 4:00 PM H
Saturday 9/26/98 Oregon 8:00 AM A
Wednesday 9/30/98 Conf Meet (Minooka) 8:00 AM A
Tuesday 10/6/98 IHSA Regional    
Tuesday 10/13/98 IHSA Sectional    
Friday 10/16/98 IHSA State Meet Begins    
Friday 9/11/98 Wheaton Academy 4:00 PM H
Monday 9/28/98 Oregon/Loves Park 4:00 PM A

Kaneland Wins first contest of the season

Kaneland 173 Marengo 177

Hitting the greens for the first time this season Kaneland beat Marengo 173-177. Ironically the Knights had the identical score as last year's first game -173. Leading the Knights where juniors Tyrel Williams with a 41, Bill Lamb with 42 and Dustin Darnold shooting a 43, along with sophomore Kris Cotton's 46.

In a JV match Kaneland won 170-180 with 42's by Tom Lang, Brandon Darnold and Kyle Donka. L.D. Lamb finished the scoring for the Knights with a 44.

Kaneland 160 Lisle 185

The Knights improved their score by 13 strokes over their season opener to beat Lisle 160-185. Leading the Knights were Medalist Tyrel Williams with a 38, followed by Bill Lamb and Dustin Darnold shooting even 40's and Branden Darnold with a 42.

In a JV match Kaneland won 174-196, with a 40 by Jeremy Johnson, a 42 by Kyle Donka, a 44 by Adam Samuelson and a 48 by Eric Barr.

Kaneland 181 Minooka 156

The Knights golf team ran into a buzz saw when they went to Minooka as they shot their worst match of the season - 181, while Minooka shot a blistering 156 on their home course to move to 4-0 for the season. Leading the Knights again was Tyrel Williams with a 43, followed by Dustin Darnold (45), Bill Lamb (46) and Kris Cotton (47). Despite the loss the team remained in good spirits when they returned to school.

The JV team continued to win however beating the varsity score by 8 strokes for a 173-188 victory. Jeremy Johansen shot a 41 followed by Kyle Donka, Tommy Lang and Eric Barr with 43, 44, and 45 respectively.

Kaneland 171 Geneva 155

The Knights golf team leveled their season record to 2-2 as they lost to Geneva by 16 stokes. Bill Lamb tried to carry the Knights with a 38, but it only tied the best Geneva player Alex Poulos and was just 1 one ahead of their worst score! Tyrel Williams added a 42, Mike Balensiefen a 45 and Dustin Darnold a 46.

The JV team suffered their first loss of the young season 186-183. Tom Lang and Eric Barr both came in with meet leading 43's, while Kyle Donka and Brandon Darnold added 50 each.

Kaneland 159 Sycamore 149

The Knights shot their best rounds of the season, but it wasn't enough extending their losing streak to three games as they lost to Sycamore at the Sycamore Park District golf course by 10 stokes. Dustin Darnold shaved off 9 strokes from his last game Tuesday for a team leading 37. Mike Balensiefen followed with his personal best of 39, Kris Cotton and Brandon Cunningham also had their season best games with 40 and 43 respectively.

The JV team tied Sycamore at 162. Brandon Darnold rounded out a Darnold's family fun day by tying his brother with his own 37. Tommy Lang followed with a 41 and Eric Barr and Kyle Donka both shot 42.

Kaneland 159 Wheaton Academy 172

The Knights shot another 159 and this time it was good enough to end their three game losing slid and level their season record to 3-3. Dustin Darnold had the game of the season as he shot a sizzling 36. This following a 37 just the day before. He was supported by a trio of 41's by brother Brandon, Bill Lamb and Kyle Donka.

The JV team meanwhile smoked the Academy 172-190. Brandon Cunningham finished at 40, followed by a pair of 43's by Tommy Lang and Kris Cotton. Eric Barr rounded out the scoring with a 46.

Kaneland 158 Morris 168

The Kaneland golf teams just keeps getting better shooting a season low of 158 against conference foe Morris. Brandon Cunningham, slotted 6th in the Knights lineup, rose to the occasion with a 38 to garner the medal. Kyle Donka was just a stoke behind as the Knights moved to 4-3 for the season.

Rounding out the scoring for the Knight was Dustin Darnold with 40 and Tyrel Williams coming in with a 41.

The JV team also won 174-179. J.D.Lamb lead the group with a 41. Eric Barr (43), Bradon Darnold (44), and Jeremy Johansen (46), followed Darnold in the scoring.

Kaneland 163 Yorkville 179

The Knights golf team won again beating Yorkville by 16. Bill Lamb came up big shooting 37 and earned the medal. He was followed by Dustin Darnold with 40, and Tyrel Williams and Kyle Donka with 43's.

As usual the JV team won, 171-185. Tom Lang and Brandon Darnold shot 41 each, Jeremy Johansen came in with 43 and Eric Barr rounded out the scoring with 46.

Sandwich Invitational

The Knights took first place in the twelve school Sandwich Invitational tournament Saturday at Edgebrook Country Club in Sandwich. The Knights total of 331 was 3 better than second place finisher Reed Custer and 10 swings better than Seneca which placed third.

Moreover, the Knights placed 3 golfers in the top 10 individual standings. Dustin Darnold was the tournament Medalist with an amazing 36 on the front nine and 42 on the back, for a impressive 78.

Bill Lamb came in with a pair of 41's for a 82 and a tie for 5th place. Tyrel Williams shot a 83 to tie for 9th place. Other scores for the Knights were Brandon Cunningham and Kyle Donka with 88's.

Kaneland 159 Batavia 164

Bill Lamb and Andrew Lanthrum fired 3-over-par 39's at Hughes Creek to lead the Knights to a 159-164, five stoke win over visiting Batavia. Mike Balensiefen came in with a 40 and Tyrel Williams added a 41. The win moved the Knights to 6-3 for the season and 3-3 in the conference.

The JV just keeps winning too, as they beat Batavia 172-181. J.D. Lamb followed in his brothers footsteps the lead the Knights with 41. Brandon Darnold had a 43 and Tom Lang and Mike Geith added a pair of 44's.

Kaneland 167 Oswego 161

Bill Lamb and Dustin Darnold continue to sizzle on the links as they try to carry the Kaneland golf team on their backs against a strong Oswego team at Hughs Creek. Lamb shot a medal round 36 and Darnold followed with a 39. Although both golfers had broken 40 numerous times this season this was the first time they did it together.

Brandon Cunningham and Tyrel Williams were able to ring up 46's, but it wasn't enough to overtake the Panthers. The lose was only the fourth of the season for the Knights who now stand 6-4.

The JV Knights with only one lose for the season won again 170-180. J.D. Lamb and Brandon Darnold followed the lead of their older brothers topping the JV team with 42's. Tommy Lang and Mike Geith shot 43 each to round out the scoring for the Knights.

Kaneland 174 Oregon 173

It happens to the best of us. We have an off day and Knights hit the links at Oregon Country Club and just plain had one of those days. They were off just enough to lose by one stroke to Oregon 174-173. It was the last regular meet for the Knights who finished 7-5 for the season.

Bill Lamb and Dustin Darnold both cooled off a little bit from their great week last week shooting 42 and 43 respectively. Tyrel Williams followed with a 44 and Brandon Cunningham had a 45.

The JV team actually outshot the varsity by 9 strokes beating Oregon 165-173. Kyle Donka had a very impressive 36 to lead the JV Knights. Jeremy Johansen had a slick 40 while J.D. Lamb came in with 45 and Mike Geith a 47.

Conference Meet

The Knights finished fourth in the SPC conference Tournament at Heritage Bluffs in Minooka. Kaneland ended up fourth over all in the Conference with a 3-4 conference record.

Bill Lamb finished 4th in the tournament with a round of 79 which placed him second overall in the conference earning him the title of All-conference player. Dustin Darnold was close behind with a 82 just missing All-conference.

Tyrel Williams shot a 85 and Andrew Lanthrum along with Kris Cotton had 89's.

The JV team meanwhile took second place in the Tournament. J.D. Lamb was the tournament medalist with a amazing 81 beating the next best Kaneland player by 10 strokes. Brandon Darnold came in eighth with a 91. Next best was Tommy Lang with 97 and Eric Barr with 98. The JV team also finished second in the conference standings for the season with a 5-2 record.

IHSA Regional Tournament

In the IHSA Regionals at Crystal Woods Golf Club in Woodstock Kaneland finished 6th with a score of 356. Lombard Montini won the Tournament with 323. Dustin Darnold qualified for the Sectionals with a 84 to become only the second Kaneland player to advance to the Sectionals.

J.D. Lamb followed with a 90 and Bill Lamb along with Kris Cotton shot 91's.

"This was by far one of the worst days weather-wise I have ever seen in 13 years of coaching golf," said head coach Rich Ross. "For the second year in a row we missed qualifying as a team by only 6 strokes."

"It was a disappointing day for Tyrel (Williams - 95) and Bill (Lamb). They really deserved to make the cut after such a great season!"

IHSA Sectional Tournament

Dustin Darnold, Kanelands's lone representative in the IHSA Sectional held at Mendota shot a 93, which was about 10 strokes off the cut to advance to the State Tournament.

"I know he can play much better, and he knows he can play much better," commented coach Rich Ross. "But he is still in the upper echelon of all golfers in class A in the state, which is quite a accomplishment. He has a lot to be proud of."

It was a cool (60 degrees) and very windy day on a wide open course. Darnold is not fond of playing in the wind and it really affected his game. The medalist for the tournament shot a 76.

"He was only the second (Kaneland) individual to ever go to the sectional tournament. Including one team that made it, he has been one of nine golfers in 13 years to make it that far," added Ross.

Coach Rich Ross's (not so famous) last words. "The good news is that Dustin is only a Junior and he as well as many of this years best golfers, will return next year. We will take no prisoners!"

1998 Kaneland Golf Roster
Baert, Rob 11  
Balensiefen, Mike 11  
Cotton, Kris 11  
Cunningham, Brandon 11  
Darnold, Dustin 11 CAPTAIN
Lamb. Bill 11 CAPTAIN
Lanthrum, Andrew 11  
Williams, Tyrel 11  
Barr, Eric 10  
Donka, Kyle 10  
Dienst, John 10  
Geith, Mike 10  
Johanson, Jeremy 10  
Lang, Tom 10  
Olson, Dustin 10  
Samuelson, Adam 10  
Coppert, Kevin 9  
Darnold, Brandon 9  
Fitzpatrick, Matt 9  
Hauge, Mike 9  
Lamb, J.D. 9  
Coached by: Richard Ross    

The 1998 Golf Team

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