Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Elkhart Central High School graduate Riley Keagle (center, first row) signs to continue his academic and golf careers at Savannah (Ga.) State University. He is surrounded by (from left, first row) parents Mike and Kathy Keagle; (second row) Elkhart Central boys golf coach Scott Sekal and Elkhart Central athletic director Brian Buckley. (Elkhart Central High School/Photo provided)

CentralÕs Riley Keagle reacts to a missed putt during sectional action at Erskine Park Golf Course in South Bend Friday, June 6, 2014. (Jennifer Shephard / The Elkhart Truth)

CentralÕs Riley Keagle reacts to a missed putt during sectional action at Erskine Park Golf Course in South Bend Friday, June 6, 2014. (Jennifer Shephard / The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

CentralÕs Riley Keagle pitches to a green during sectional action at Erskine Park Golf Course in South Bend Friday, June 6, 2014. (Jennifer Shephard / The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Elkhart Central's Riley Keagle lines up a putt. Elkhart Central boys' golf played NorthWood at Christiana Creek Country Club in Elkhart on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (James Buck / The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Elkhart Central's Riley Keagle reacts to a putt. Elkhart Central boys' golf played NorthWood at Christiana Creek Country Club in Elkhart on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (James Buck / The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Elkhart Central's Riley Keagle putts. Elkhart Central boys' golf played NorthWood at Christiana Creek Country Club in Elkhart on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (James Buck / The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Central's Riley Keagle tees off Saturday, May 25, 2013, during the Northern Indiana Conference boys golf championship at Christiana Creek Country Club in Elkhart. (Truth Photo By Ryan Dorgan) (AP) (Buy this photo)
Elkhart Central golfer Riley Keagle signs with Savannah State
Posted on June 9, 2014 at 2:15 p.m.

ELKHART — Riley Keagle decided to trade his skates and hockey stick for spikes and golf clubs and it has paid off with a spot with a NCAA Division I golf program.

Keagle, a 2014 Elkhart Central High School graduate, signed Monday, June 9, to continue his academic and golf careers at Savannah (Ga.) State University.

A member of the Kalamazoo Wings travel squad before coming to high school, Keagle opted to give golf a try.

The only hard part was that Keagle is left-handed and most golf clubs are right-handed.

"My dad (Mike Keagle) tried to get me to play right-handed," said Keagle, who wound up getting many of his drivers and irons through the Internet. "It's not really a disadvantage to be left-handed, but it is hard to get lessons. It's just kind of backwards.

"It's a whole different game looking at our side of the ball."

That's why Keagle and friend Braden Sherwood, an Elkhart Memorial left-hander, have spent hours on the driving range hitting each other's club and trading tips.

Why Savannah State?

"Beautiful weather and year-around golf," said Keagle. "A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was put in front of me to play NCAA Division I sports, especially golf."

Savannah State is coached by Art Gelow. The Tigers belong to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Keagle was the Northern Indiana Conference champion as a junior in 2013 and was all-NIC as both a junior and senior for the Scott Sekal-coached Blue Blazers.

Last summer, Keagle aveaged 75.8 strokes per 18-hole round on the Indiana Junior Tour, where he placed eighth in the final standings. He won four times on the Elkhart County Junior Golf Tour.

Before reporting to SSU at the of the summer, Keagle plans to play in events around Elkhart, including the Greater Elkhart Men’s Golf Championship.