2012 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team

Optimist Junior Golf recently announced the junior golfers who will make up the 2012 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team. The team recognizes junior golfers who excel not only on the golf course but also in the classroom. After reviewing the qualifications of a number of impressive applicants, the Optimist Junior Golf Committee selected five exceptional student athletes for the team.

Optimist Junior Golf bestowed the 2012 All-Scholastic Team honor on James Black of Gastonia, N.C.; Mackenzie Boydston of Keller, TX; Lauren Kruszewski of Chesapeake, VA; Jeffrey Lang of Lexington, MA; and Mert Selamet of Dublin, OH. Lang is also recipient of the "Bringing Out the Best in Kids" Community Service Award.

The members of the 2012 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team will receive automatic exemptions into the 2012 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships July 24 through 29 at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. In addition, the members of the scholastic team will have their registration fee for the tournament waived. All of this year's honorees will also be recognized for their accomplishments at the tournament's opening ceremonies on July 25.

 

James Black
 
Mackenzie Boydston
 
Lauren Kruszewski

 
Jeffrey Lang
 
Mert Selamet
 

“The members of the review committee were extremely impressed with the quality of applicants in addition to their achievements both on and off the golf course,” said Dan Neer, chairman of the Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team Committee. “Their classroom, extracurricular and community service experiences made for tremendously well-rounded students and we are proud to name these five golfers to this year’s All-Scholastic team.”

 

Applicants were required to be 16 to 18 years old and past participants of the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships, Optimist International Tournament of Champions or Optimist District qualifiers. Those making the team exemplified an impressive balance of academics, golf and community service.

James Black is finishing his senior year at Ashbrook High School, where he has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA and is ranked third out of a class of 304. Black, who excelled on both the SAT and ACT, was an AP Scholar with Distinction in 2011, was in the National Honor Society in 2012, and also won first place in the Gastonia Optimist Club’s Essay Contest. He has been the captain of his school’s golf team for the past three years and also served as coaching assistant for the girls’ varsity golf team. Black has also been involved in a wide variety of extracurricular and community service including student council, national science fair participant, Civitan Service Club, West Gastonia Boys and Girls Club volunteer and camp counselor for underprivileged children at Camp Sunshine. He will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.

 

Mackenzie Boydston is at the top of her class as she finishes up her senior year at Nolan Catholic High School. With a 4.0 GPA, Boydston is a National Merit Commended Student and is her school’s valedictorian for the class of 2012. She was also selected by the AJGA to the HP Scholastic Junior All-American Team in 2011 and was recently named the 2011-12 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year by her school. She will play women’s golf for the Georgetown Hoyas in the fall. On the course, she competed in the 2011 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships finishing in the top 10. Boydston also has five wins on the Texas Junior Golf Tour and three top 10s on the AJGA in the past year.

 

Entering her senior year at Great Bridge High School, Lauren Kruszewski has a 4.0 GPA and is ranked ninth in her class of 405. She performed at a high level on the SAT and her perfect 4.0 GPA has placed her on the honor roll every semester of her high school studies. She is member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society and has also been recognized as a Chesapeake Scholar Athlete every year of high school. She has competed in a number of Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour and Virginia Junior Golf Association events, and made the cut at the 2011 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships finishing tied for 35th. Kruszewski is a member of her school’s varsity golf team, has devoted time coaching younger golfers at her home course, and is also a member of her school’s Spanish Club and Key Club. She also volunteers at the Chesapeake Public Library over the summer and has helped with Operation Smile and Relay for Life events.

 

Jeffrey Lang will finish this semester with a 4.08 GPA at Lexington High School. Lang is a member of the National Honors Society and has been on his school’s honor roll every quarter of his high school years. He has also been a gold medalist in the National Spanish Exam every year since 2009 and is also a regional qualifier for that National History Day competition. Lang competed in the 2010 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships and finished tied for 15 th in the Boys 14-15 division. He has also finished in the top 10 of two FCWT events this spring and competed in several AJGA tournaments last summer. He has also played on his high school’s basketball and tennis teams. As the Co-President and Board Member of the Lexington SADD Club (Students Against Destructive Decisions), he has facilitated drug prevention and education programs at area middle and elementary schools. He also traveled with his church’s youth group to build homes and perform landscaping projects for low income residents of Neon, Kentucky. He has also volunteered with the Special Olympics, Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary and Methodist School Fair. Because of his tremendous volunteer efforts, Lang has been named this year’s recipient of the "Bringing Out the Best in Kids" Community Service Award.

 

Mert Selamet is completing his junior year at Dublin Jerome High School. He is currently maintaining a 4.77 GPA and received a very strong score on the ACT. He has been on the honor roll all five semesters of high school and recently received his school’s Award of Excellence for his grades and positive attitude. Selamet has played in the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships the past four summers and finished tied for sixth last year in the competitive Boys 14-15 division. He also has three top 10 finishes on the AJGA in the past year and finished tied for fourth in the Ohio High School State Championships in October. Off the course, Selamet is a competitive pianist and has played piano at a local hospital for cancer patients. He also is member of his school’s Spanish Club, Biology Club and Symphonic Band.

 

The All-Scholastic Team is named for Hugh Cranford, who served as executive director of Optimist International from 1967 to 1986. He was instrumental in starting the Optimist Junior Golf program and in 1978 led the efforts to co-sponsor the Optimist Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, the forerunner to today's Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. Cranford served as chairman of the Optimist Junior Golf Committee and is an emeritus member of the committee.

About the Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team
To learn more about the All-Scholastic Team, click here.

Past All-Scholastic Teams
2011-- Will Davenport (Palm City, Florida); Forrest Gamble (Birmingham, Albama); Haley King ( Elkhart, Indiana); Caroline Rouse* (St. Louis, Missouri); and David Sargent of (Davidson, North Carolina) To read more about the 201 Optimist International All-Scholastic Team, click here.
*"Bringing Out the Best in Kids" Community Service Award Winner

2010 -- Michelle Chen (Plano, Texas); Kristen Helmsdoerfer* (Westerville, Ohio); David E. Mills (Evansville, Indiana); Shane Stewart (Dublin, Ohio); and Peyton Vitter (New Orleans, Louisiana). To read more about the 2010 Optimist International All-Scholastic Team, click here.
*"Bringing Out the Best in Kids" Community Service Award Winner

2009 -- Nicole Agnello (Longwood, Florida), David Catt (Shawnee, Kansas), Kaitlyn Hutcherson (Greeneville, Tennessee), Brandon Jobe (Fayetteville, North Carolina) and Patrick Cansfield* (Port Huron, Michigan). To read more about the 2009 Optimist International All-Scholastic Team, click here.
*"Bringing Out the Best in Kids" Community Service Award Winner

2008 -- Adam Carpenter (Little Rock, Arkansas); Katherine Jean (Rantoul, Illinois); Patrick Rodgers (Avon, Indiana); and Mark Wehner (Cincinnati, Ohio).  To read more about the 2008 Optimist International All-Scholastic Team, click here.

2007 -- Daniel Maurer (Longmont, Colorado); Chris Olson (Midlothian, Virginia); Alyssa Roland (Newtown Square, Pennsylvania); and James Rowland (Bolivar, Ohio).











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