Talented freshmen took to the links this spring to lift area high school boys golf. And Westview ninth grader Silas Haarer was the most consistent golfer in the area regardless of grade to be named 2022 KPC Media Prep of the Year.
Haarer exploded on the area boys golf scene in 2022 and quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future. Haarer shot a 71 at the Northeast Corner Conference Tournament at Zollner Golf Course in Angola, good for second place.
Haarer had an excellent run in the postseason, shooting a 74 at the sectional tournament to qualify for the regional tourney, where a great freshman season ended with a 77. Haarer’s quiet confidence often made him seem like an upperclassman, not a freshman.
“Silas is the most calm, coolest guy around. You don’t know if he’s playing good or bad when you look at him. He has a great mindset for the game,” Warriors coach Jeff Marchant after the NECC Tournament on May 21 at Zollner Golf Course.
The Coach of the Year honor went to East Noble’s Jason Buchs.
Buchs brought the Knights back to the regional tournament for a second straight year, despite leading a team with no seniors. East Noble shot a 326 at Noble Hawk to claim the third and final spot in the Plymouth Regional behind Leo (297) and Carroll (300).
The Knights continue to develop under Buchs and it will be interesting to see what East Noble does in 2023 with at least two seniors.
Here’s the rest of the 2022 KPC Media All-Area Boys Golf Team.
Caden Anderson, Soph., East Noble
Anderson spent most of the 2022 season as the Knights’ No. 1. Anderson shot a 74 at the NE8 Tournament to help lead the Knights to a fourth-place finish. He followed that up with a 75 at the East Noble Sectional at Noble Hawk to help East Noble qualify for the Plymouth Regional, where he carded an 81 as the Knights’ 2022 season came to an end.
Ryan Norden, Jr., East Noble
Norden shot a 79 at the NE8 tournament. He followed that with a 77 at the East Noble to help the Knights advance to the regional tournament. Norden turned in an 89 at the Plymouth Regional. He should be a key senior along with teammate Ronan Fisher in 2023.
Ronan Fisher, Jr., East Noble
Fisher, along with teammate Ryan Norden, was one of the most experienced players in the Knight lineup in 2022. He shot a 79 at the NE8 tournament, followed by an 88 at the East Noble Sectional at Noble Hawk and a stellar 77 at the Plymouth Regional.
Grant McAfee, Sr., DeKalb
McAfee finished his Baron career shooting a 79 at the NE8 Tournament to help lead DeKalb to a fifth-place finish. He followed that up with an 85 at the East Noble Sectional, where DeKalb finished fourth.
Grant Stuckey, Soph., DeKalb
Stuckey was the Barons’ No. 4 for much of the season. He fired a 79 at the NE8 tournament and followed that up with an 85 at the East Noble Sectional to wrap up a good sophomore season.
Gavin Morr, Sr., DeKalb
Morr was the Barons’ No. 2 for much of 2022. He shot an 80 at the NE8 Tournament and carded an 86 at the East Noble Sectional.
Lukas Berlew, Sr., Fremont
Berlew had an excellent senior campaign to wrap up his Fremont career. He earned All-NECC honors with an 80 at the conference tournament. Berlew shot a 37, 38 twice and a 39 in nine-hole meets during the regular season. He carded a 79 at the East Noble Sectional to qualify for the Plymouth Regional as an individual, where he shot an 82.
Carter Demske, Fr., Garrett
Demske was another excellent freshman coming out of the NECC in 2022. He finished in a three-way tie for second at the NECC Tournament with a 73. He finished with an 82 at the East Noble Sectional, qualifying for the Plymouth Regional as an individual, where he carded an 80.
Ben Keil, Jr., Lakeland
Ben Keil shot a 74 at the NECC Tournament and finished his 2022 season with an 85 at the Northridge Sectional.
Tommy Curtis, Jr., Lakeland
Curtis won the NECC Tournament at Zollner Golf Course in Angola with a 69. He wrapped up his 2022 season with an 87 at the Northridge Sectional.
Nate Keil, Soph., Lakeland
Nate Keil finished in a tie for third at the NECC Tournament with a 73. His 2022 season came to an end with a 92 at the Northridge Sectional.
Wade Springer, Soph., Westview
Springer was another stellar underclassman for the Warriors. He was eighth at the NECC Tournament with a 73 and also carded a 92 to end his 2022 season at the Northridge Sectional.
The All-Area honorable mentions were DeKalb seniors Bo Potter and Kyle Toyias, Garrett senior Thomas Loeffler, Fremont senior Jakob Allman, Angola senior Mason Gruner, West Noble senior Brayden Bohde and Prairie Heights junior Brayden Levitz.