Hackett Dominates Again in D4

June 15, 2013

By Tom Kendra
Special to Second Half

EAST LANSING – Father’s Day came early this year for Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central golf coach Steve Rider.

The first gift came from his team, which brought home Hackett’s third MHSAA championship in the past five seasons at Saturday’s MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 4 Final.

The Fighting Irish dominated from the start, surging to a 10-stroke lead after Friday’s opening round and extending it further Saturday, finishing with consecutive rounds of 300 for a 600 total, 21 strokes better than second-place Saginaw Nouvel.

“We’ve been fortunate, and we’ve had a good group of kids come through here in recent years and they’ve been successful,” said Rider, who was still drying off after a celebratory dousing of water from his players. “Our goal was to win a state championship, and what a way to go out.”

Suttons Bay (630) placed third, followed by New Lothrop (642) and Fowler (657) in a tournament played in near-perfect conditions with no rain and very little wind at Forest Akers East golf course at Michigan State University.

The next early Father’s Day present came from his own son, Ted Rider, who won a two-man playoff on the second hole to repeat as Division 4 medalist.

Ted Rider opened with a 1-over 73 on Friday, then shot the round of his life to get into the playoff – a 3-under par 69 – for a 142 total. That equaled individual qualifier Zack Bialik of Manistee Catholic Central, a senior who shot back-to-back 1-under par rounds of 71.

Rider won on the second playoff hole when Bialik’s par putt just burned the edge of the cup.

"I honestly wasn’t thinking about the individual part of it at all this weekend,” said Ted Rider, who finished second at the Final as a sophomore before winning it the past two years. “It’s just so great to win the team state in my senior year. I’ve never been in a playoff at the state finals, so winning that was like icing on the cake.”

Coach Rider acknowledged his team will be hard-pressed to “three-peat” next spring, as he will be losing the top four players off of this year’s team – three of whom finished among the Top 10 individually Saturday.

In addition to Rider, Hackett junior Colin Joseph finished third overall after back-to-back rounds of even-par 72. Joseph will not be back with the Irish next year as his family is moving to Ohio.

Finishing ninth for Hackett was senior Luke Stull, who shot rounds of 73 and 75. Senior Spencer Walter (166) and sophomore Joe Wenzel (168) completed the scoring for the Irish.

After posing for some unique team pictures, including a cheerleader-like pyramid, Coach Rider reflected on an amazing five-year run, which now features three MHSAA championships and a runner-up finish a year ago to Lake Leelanau St. Mary.

“These kids love to play golf together. They push each other, but they love each other,” said Rider, who also coached his older son, Jack, on the Hackett championship teams of 2009 and 2010; he now plays for Grand Valley State’s golf team. “This has been a very special run.”

Coach Rider also has not decided whether he will bring back the Kelly green shorts, complete with white shamrocks, which one of the parents located earlier this month and his team and coaches wore on Friday and Saturday.

“I’m thinking we’ll probably retire the shorts, but I’m not sure; we played pretty well in them,” Rider said.

Saginaw Nouvel placed second behind the 1-2 punch of senior Brody Schiller and sophomore Nick Ludka.

Schiller shot consecutive 73s to finish fifth overall and Ludka, who had the low round on Friday with a 70 before falling back to a 77 on Saturday, placed sixth. The Panthers were unable to make a move on Hackett, with only one other score in the 70s.

Suttons Bay, New Lothrop and Fowler all struggled in Friday’s opening round and then played much better on Saturday to secure top-five team finishes.

Suttons Bay, which entered the Final ranked No. 2, wound up third after shooting 322 on Friday and 308 on Saturday. Senior Sean Lammy led the resurgence, bouncing back from a 76 with a 71 on Saturday, second only to Ted Rider’s 69, to finish tied for sixth individually.

New Lothrop did not have a single player in the Top 10, but locked up its fourth-place team finish by shaving six strokes off Friday’s score.

Fowler, paced by the steady play of junior Austin Feldpausch (74-73-147) was five shots better on Saturday than on Friday to hold off Pentwater for fifth place.

Other individuals placing in the Top 10 were Eau Claire senior Andy Vanderburg (145) who took sixth, and Petersburg-Summerfield senior Wyatt Spalding (148), who tied for ninth.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Kalamazoo Hackett’s Ted Rider tees off during the individual playoff Saturday at Forest Akers East. (Middle) Manistee Catholic Central’s Zack Bialik watches one of his tee shots during the playoff. (Click to see more at HighSchoolsSportsScene.com.)

Bloomfield Hills JV Golfer Adds Rare Highlight to Strong Spring with Par-4 Hole-In-One

By Tom Lang
Special for MHSAA.com

May 24, 2024

Freshman Lucas Dostal was just aiming for a drive down the middle of the par-4 17th fairway.

Just seconds later, he finished the hole at Hudson Mills Metro Park in that one swing with the driver.

The Bloomfield Hills junior varsity player didn’t see from the tee his ace on the 329-yard hole drop in the cup, so the reaction was delayed – but still refreshing.

“I hit a draw, so the ball started right, then went left and it was kinda going toward the pin but it was too hard to see,” he said in an email. “The ground was firm, and there was some down wind.

“I didn’t see the ball at all go in, but once I realized it, I was in shock. It helped me shoot a really good 71, but I tripled bogeyed (4-putt) the last hole so that kinda ruined it.”

Spoken like a true competitive golfer.

That 71 was good for medalist at the tournament April 20 versus other JV teams like Detroit Catholic Central, Novi and Grand Blanc, and brought way more attention to his game than he’d like.

The program’s junior varsity coach David Lumsden, a North Hills middle school teacher, said a lot of people assumed he’d be bumped up to varsity very soon; even local media talked that way. After all, it was the first tournament of the season, and Dostal comes into the clubhouse with an albatross and a win.

Dostal, standing third from right, is joined by his team after they won the Ace & Bob Byerlein JV Tournament that day. “He is a good golfer, and the first thing I did was email the varsity coach and said I think this kid has got the goods to be on varsity,” Lumsden said. “We had purposefully left two varsity spots open because we have so many young kids who are good golfers; we didn’t know who to choose and left two spots (flexible). I suggested Lucas, but we agreed since he was a freshman to give him a couple more events and see how he does.

“I think he shot in the high 70s the next tournament and the 80s after that. And Lucas came to me after that and said, ‘Coach, can you put me on the B team?’ I think the pressure was getting to him being No. 1 on the A team. So, me and the varsity coach agreed he needs a year on JV to play in some more matches and tournaments and grow into that varsity position.”

The JV team went 9-0 this spring in dual meets and finished in the top 10 in five of six tournaments.

“He’s going to be a great golfer,” Lumsden said. “There’s no part of his game that is lacking. He’s got a great short game. Off the tee he’s amazing. And I’ve watched him make really great recovery shots with his irons. He’s going to be really good; we’re just taking it slow. Don’t want to put all this pressure on him and end up having him quit golf too early.

“Lucas is very mild-mannered. He doesn’t talk a lot. He loves golf and has a brother (Domonic) playing on the varsity team who’s really good too. They are both golf fanatics and love the game. It’s very enjoyable to watch him getting into it and getting used to being a good golfer and getting this kind of recognition. He’s not been bragging about anything, and he’s just a solid golfer.”

If Dostal does make varsity in 2025, he should be joining his brother for that one year together on the team.

“The awareness (of his game) is there,” Lumsden said. “He’s really got the temperament to be somebody that’s going to be a top golfer.

“Many of the top golfers in the state are here in Southeast Michigan, so he’s got a lot of good competition. He might be used to going out with his buddies and beating them by 10 strokes with no problem; now he’s going against kids who are just as good as he is, or better.

“And this is just JV golf. Once you go to varsity, those kids go really low.”

PHOTOS (Top) Bloomfield Hills’ Lucas Dostal shows the ball he drove into the hole next to him for a par-4 hole-in-one April 20 at Hudson Mills Metro Park. (Middle) Dostal, standing third from right, is joined by his team after they won the Ace & Bob Byerlein JV Tournament that day. (Photos courtesy of the Bloomfield Hills JV golf program.)