Last season marked the first time in the rather lengthy history of OPRF boys golf that the Huskies qualified for state. And the Huskies certainly made the most of their state debut, garnering an impressive 11th place finish (plus 94) led by the inspired play of Patrick Murphy. As a sophomore last season, Murphy tied for 21st in the Class 3A State Finals.

Under the guidance of head coach Doug Brown and assistant Bill Rogalla, the rest of the Huskies’ historic state qualifying squad featured a skilled group of seniors, notably Alex Decorrevant, Dan Wojtak, Joe McKune, Pat Cusack and Matt Weintrob.

Regarding the precocious Murphy, this summer has provided even more preparation for a stellar junior campaign as he played in 26 events throughout the Midwest. Murphy’s comprehensive summer accomplishments include third place showings at both the Cog Hill Sizzler Open (field of 150 players) and Quad City Classic, 13th place at the Purdue Kampen Course event, and a Top 15 finish at the McCarther Future Legends Tournament in Hartland, Wis.

“We expect Patrick to have an outstanding season this year,” Rogalla said. “He’s ready to solidify his place among the elite players in Illinois.”

The Huskies, however, are a far cry from a one-man show. John Walsh, Brian Mooney and David Hancock also anchor a lineup loaded with talented golfers possessing considerable upside.

“We’re very excited about the team and expect another great season,” added Rogalla. “Our incoming juniors had a very strong 2011 season highlighted by several invitational victories and a second place finish in the West Suburban Silver. We expect another strong performance in conference and a return trip to state.”

While the Huskies could contend for a conference championship this fall, winning the league might prove difficult. Lyons Township and Hinsdale Central, which finished second and fourth in the 2011 state finals, respectively, are the preseason favorites.

OPRF girls golf

The OPRF girls golf team returns several seniors ready to build on the Huskies’ steady progress since the program’s inception six years ago. Seniors Rose Hanson and Mason Rose along with juniors Emma Youman and Mia Shapiro comprise a solid nucleus of players for head coach Pete Hostrawser.

OPRF hopes to improve on its eighth place showing (carded a team score of 415) at last year’s West Suburban Conference Tournament. On an encouraging note, the Huskies only missed out on sixth place at the conference tournament by five strokes.

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...