SALT LAKE CITY — The school year has barely begun, but the prep golf season is already more than half over.
This year's 5A meet will be played at Riverbend Golf Course Oct. 1-2, with the 2A meet scheduled the same days at Rose Park.
The 4A and 3A meets will be played Oct. 3-4, with 4A at Logan Country Club and 3A at Roosevelt Golf Course.
The 5A and 4A titles look up for grabs, while defending champions Park City and Beaver have the edge in 3A and 2A, respectively.
Last year, Alta handily won the 5A championship and the Hawks have a strong team again, led by freshman Rhett Rasmussen, Tanner Howard and Nick Owen.
However, Brighton has been beating the Hawks this fall with a solid team led by the top three returning players from a year ago, Charlie Duensing, Drew Bailey and Jacob Byers.
Lone Peak finished second in 5A a year ago and the Knights return first-team all-stater Berkley Stulce as well as Parker Peterson. Bingham has one of the better players in Region 4 in Mana Angilau.
West's Austin Banz and Granger's Henry Leng are the top players in Region 2, but their teams are unlikely to contend for the state title. Viewmont has the best-balanced team in the region, led by Kelton Hirsch and Caleb Summerhays.
In Region 1, Fremont has a strong team led by Alex Herzog and Dylan Chugg. Syracuse counts on Josh Martinez, while Layton's Logan Herzog and Davis' Justin Bradshaw are other top golfers.
In Class 4A, Bonneville is back after a down season in 2011. Now it has experience and could challenge for a title.
Nick Smith was a first-team all-stater last year and leads the Lakers this year, along with Carson Park.
Peyton Hastings led Woods Cross to a state title this year as the individual medalist and his team could be in the mix for another state title with Kyle Beard returning from the title team. Highland has one of the top players in the state in junior Matt Loosle. East is third in Region 6 this year behind James Gibb.
Murray has been the best team in Region 7, led by Cameron Howe and Andrew Reitveld, with Olympus close behind.
Timpview and Maple Mountain top Region 8 with C.J. Lee and Josh Lillywhite leading the T-Birds and Kai Ruiz and Mark Mortenson leading Maple Mountain.
In Class 3A, four-time defending champion Park City should be the team to beat behind Justin Shluker and Mitch Schow. Wasatch has a strong team led by Devin Brown and Mason Holmes.
Spanish Fork is the top team in Region 12 behind Benson Rhees and Kade Measom. Juab's Dalton Jackson has the best average after four tournaments. Pine View is having a strong year in Region 9 behind Andrew Shopinski, and Bear River and Morgan are the top teams in Region 11.
Beaver has won two straight titles and could do it again behind Braxton Williams and Dallon Murdock. Other top players in 2A include Caleb Chodosh of Rowland Hall, Waterford's Josh Ames, Manti's Kody Berry and Kody Quarnberg and Gunnison's Mason Powell.
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