RANTOUL -- Last year, the Rantoul/Paxton-Buckley-Loda boys golf team sent three players to the sectional round.
Among those three, one is returning to the Eagles this fall.
After qualifying for IHSA Class 2A sectionals in 2017 and 2018, Trey VanWinkle has some higher aspirations for his senior year.
"He's going to be our horse. We're looking for him to get to state this year, for sure," Rantoul/PBL head coach Tom Wilks said. "He's done a lot of work in the offseason."
This past summer, VanWinkle competed in the Indiana Elite Midwest Golf Invitational against some golfers from Illinois and Indiana as well as other states such as Kentucky and Michigan.
VanWinkle shot a 78 to advance past the first qualifying stage, but due to inclement weather, the final round was canceled.
"To get him into that last stage was pretty big for him," Wilks said.
VanWinkle had played in a few more tourneys this past summer, including the State Farm Youth Classic Golf Tournament.
"It was a good year for him to get out and keep on getting his game where he needs to get it for the upcoming season," Wilks said.
Casey Dillman and Jalen Childs, who will return for their senior seasons as well, also competed in the Indiana Elite Midwest Golf Invitational.
"I'm looking for a big year out of them," Wilks said. "They know what I expect and where we want to go with this team this year."
Along with sophomore Sean Hudson, the senior trio were joined by some freshmen as well as the first day of practice was held Monday.
"We're going to have a deeper team," Wilks said. "I'm kind of excited to see what's going to go on here. We're trying to get our game ready for our first match this week."
The Eagles will start their season at the Ron Schaede Memorial tournament, held at the University of Illinois Orange Course at 10 a.m. Friday. They will also compete at the Tiger Kick-Off Classic at Urbana Country Club at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 19.
"We'll kind of see where we're at," Wilks said. "We're booked up this year. We'll kind of know where we stand after these two events."