The New Lothrop boys will be making their eighth team appearance in the last 10 years at the MHSAA Division 4 Golf Finals Friday and Saturday.
The 2019 Hornets are a young team, and head coach Joe Beach said he would be happy with a top 10 finish considering how tough the course — The Meadows at Grand Valley State University — and the field are this year.
“The course is very difficult,” Beach said. “It’s the hardest course of the four state finals. It’s long, narrow and has a lot of trouble.”
All four of the top-ranked teams in the state will be present. Clarkston Everest Collegiate, ranked No. 1 in Division 4 by the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association, scored 314 at regionals. Just seven shots back at that regional at Fountains Golf and Banquet in Clarkston was No. 3 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett.
No. 2 Kalamazoo Hackett shot 308 at Milham Park Golf Course en route to a regional title, and No. 4 Leland totaled 323 to win its regional at the Treetops in Gaylord.
“Kalamazoo Hackett and Clarkston Everest Collegiate are really pretty solid,” Beach said.
New Lothrop placed second at last week’s Division 4 regional at Verona Hills in Bad Axe. The Hornets shot 361, with Bad Axe taking first at 353.
New Lothrop featured senior John Fras, who fired an 84 for fifth place. Junior Isaac Richardson shot 88 for eighth. Sophomore Gabe Salsgiver shot 93 and sophomore Noah Ruddy carded a 96.
“Noah Ruddy and John Fras have our lowest averages and John is our only senior,” Beach said. “Isaac Richardson has been playing really well for us and Gabe Salsgiver has been solid for us all season.”
The first 18-hole round of the Division 4 finals will start at 9 a.m. on Friday. The second round is slated for Saturday.
Koerner competes at D3 finals
No area teams qualified for the MHSAA Division 3 state golf finals in Big Rapids, but there is one individual golfer who will be going — Laingsburg sophomore Zach Koerner.
Koerner finished with a 74 at last week’s Division 3 regional at Cascades Golf Course in Jackson. Koerner was one of three individual state qualifiers that day along with Jack Brockie of Hanover Horton (72) and Noah Abbey of Onsted (79).
Koerner has proven to be a standout throughout the season and is looking to make a big impact at the state meet, Wolfpack coach Greg Beavers said.
“Zach is hoping for a top 10 finish,” Beavers said. “He won the CMAC this year and led us with a 76.1 average over 18 holes. He also set the school record with a 69 at Gladwin.”
Koerner eclipsed the former 18-hole record of 70 held by three other Laingsburg golfers — Jagger Richard, Josh Jelinek and Alex Coss.
Koerner was preparing for the state meet with some practice at Hawk Hollow in Bath on Wednesday and planned to practice at Katke Golf Course at Ferris State University today.
The Division 3 state finals will take place Friday and Saturday at Katke.