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Hillsdale Academy golf finishes third at state finals; Frisinger takes third and all-state

HILLSDALE — Hillsdale Academy boys golf, fresh off their fifth league title in a row – setting a conference record 291 score in the process – and second regional championship in a row, headed to the D4 state finals with a state title as their goal.

The Colts finished runner-up at last year's finals behind Everest Collegiate. With two returning senior all-state golfers, they battled their postseason rivals once-again, this time at the Meadows Golf Club on the campus of Grand Valley State University.

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Battling the wind and the competition, Hillsdale Academy would come up short of their state championship hopes, but another impressive outing from senior Rykert Frisinger helped propel the team to a third-place finish overall, with Frisinger earning his fourth career all-state finish in third place individually.

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Frisinger finished behind Junior Michael Houtteman of Glen Lake (151) and individual state champion Will Pennanen of Everest Collegiate (148) with a final two-round score of 155. Frisinger was tied for second place with Houtteman after day one with a score of 81. He had 10 pars and one birdie on day one. On day two, Frisinger birdied three of the first four holes on the front nine and had 10 pars overall. He finished just two-over at the end of the tournament.

His third-place all-state finish led the team's overall effort during the state finals. As a team, their 674 final score was just two strokes behind runner-up Grandville Calvin Christian's 672. Everest Collegiate earned their second straight state championship with a final score of 664. The Mountaineers battled the Colts earlier this season at The Meadows, losing an invitational event to them. They got their revenge at the state finals after placing three golfers in the top 10.

Hillsdale Academy finished third on day one with a final score of 349, behind Nouvel Catholic's 342 and Collegiate's 333. The Colts ended up second overall during the final scoring for round two with a 325 final score.

"At the beginning of the year, we set our goals,” Academy coach Rolla Frisinger said. “After last year and finishing runner up, obviously we set our sights for one more spot up. Finishing in the top three, with certainly the toughness in this field, is a fantastic accomplishment and shows how hard the kids have worked on all the things we’ve been stressing throughout the year. It’s been a great season with fantastic support from our parents especially, from our athletic department and from our community as a whole. So, we’re just so proud of how the kids have done. We got some of the best players in the state on our team and we are looking forward to keeping this program rolling for years to come. "

Hillsdale Academy senior Rykert Frisinger took runner-up at this year's state finals, his fourth all-state finish. He is pictured here with his day one state finals group pairing on the back-nine of The Meadows Golf Club course.
Hillsdale Academy senior Rykert Frisinger took runner-up at this year's state finals, his fourth all-state finish. He is pictured here with his day one state finals group pairing on the back-nine of The Meadows Golf Club course.

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Taking 13th overall for the Colts was junior Kahle Welden with a final score of 167. Welden was 22nd overall after day one of the tournament and then finished 15th overall on Saturday. He tied with two other golfers for the 13th overall spot. The junior had 17 pars and one birdie during the two-day tournament.

Junior Colt Kahle Welden took 13th place at the MHSAA D4 golf state finals.
Junior Colt Kahle Welden took 13th place at the MHSAA D4 golf state finals.

2023 all-state golfer, and senior, Ridley Fast took 25th with a final score of 173. The senior was tied with three other golfers for 25th overall. Fast had 11 pars and four birdies during the tournament.

2023 all-state golfer and Colts senior Ridley Fast took 25th overall at the 2024 MHSAA D4 state finals. He is pictured here looking to sink a putt during the state finals at The Meadows Golf Club.
2023 all-state golfer and Colts senior Ridley Fast took 25th overall at the 2024 MHSAA D4 state finals. He is pictured here looking to sink a putt during the state finals at The Meadows Golf Club.

Freshman Lincoln Knirk and Junior Vincent Reagle finished in 39th and 87th place, respectively.  Knirk shot a 179, while Reagle ended with a 197. Knirk had 10 pars and one birdie. Reagle had four pars and one birdie.

Junior Vincent Reagle took 87th overall at the MHSAA D4 golf state finals.
Junior Vincent Reagle took 87th overall at the MHSAA D4 golf state finals.
Freshman Lincoln Knirk took 39th overall for Hillsdale Academy.
Freshman Lincoln Knirk took 39th overall for Hillsdale Academy.

Coach Rolla Frisinger has now led the Colts to four straight state finals appearances. The 2023 region coach of the year honoree will have three returning experienced golfers for next season. The team loses their two seniors, including Frisinger's son Rykert, but both seniors will have future golf careers.

"Both of our seniors, Rykert and Ridley, have been four-year starters for us. They’ve meant a lot to this team, and we just can’t wait to see how their future goes. I know they’re both going to be successful at whatever they choose to do."

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2023 MHSAA and MiGCA all-state honoree Ridley Fast is committed to Trine University men's golf. Frisinger, a four-time MHSAA, two-time MiGCA all-state honoree, 2023 regional champion and two-time individual conference champion (current score record holder) committed to Northwood University men's golf.

This article originally appeared on Hillsdale Daily News: Hillsdale Academy golf finishes third at state finals; Frisinger takes third overall