|Optimist Junior Golf recently announced
the junior golfers who will make up the 2008 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic
Team. The team recognizes junior golfers who excel not just on the golf
course but also in the classroom. After reviewing the qualifications of
39 impressive applicants, the Optimist Junior Golf Committee selected four
students for the team.
Optimist Junior Golf bestowed the All-Scholastic Team honor on four exceptional
student athletes – Adam Carpenter of Little Rock, Arkansas; Katherine
Jean of Rantoul, Illinois; Patrick Rodgers of Avon, Indiana; and Mark Wehner
of Cincinnati, Ohio.
As members of the 2008 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team, the four junior
golfers will receive an automatic exemption into the 2008 Optimist International
Junior Golf Championships July 29 through August 3 at PGA National Resort
and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Their registration fee for the tournament
will be waived, and they will also be recognized for the honor at the tournament’s
opening ceremonies on July 30.
"The selection committee faced
a most difficult task when considering so many strong applications," said
Optimist Junior Golf Committee Member Steve Feinstein. "Both academics and
golf take discipline, and these young golfers have shown they have what
it takes to succeed across the board."
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. Applications came
in from junior golfers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Those
making the team exemplified an impressive balance between golf and academics.
Adam Carpenter is a junior at Arkansas Baptist High School in Little Rock,
Arkansas, who has a 4.0 grade point average. Carpenter excelled on the ACT
and balances strong academics with his participation in a number of leadership
and community service organizations as well as golf. He has helped his high
school’s golf team to three state championships in a row and was named
to the National High School Golf Coaches Association’s All American
Golf Team in 2007. Carpenter also finished first in the Arkansas District
qualifier in 2007.
Katherine Jean is a junior at The High School of Saint Thomas More in Champaign,
Illinois. Jean has a 4.1 cumulative grade point average and received a high
score on the ACT. Jean is at the top of her class with a challenging course
load and is involved in a variety of outside interests, from sports and
volunteer opportunities to her school’s Spanish Club and pep club.
She has been her high school golf team’s captain for two years and
the team’s MVP for three years. Jean also competed in the 2007 Illinois
District qualifier in Springfield, Illinois.
Patrick Rodgers is finishing up his freshman year at Avon High School in
Avon, Indiana, and with a 4.35 grade point average, Rodgers is ranked first
in his class of 603 students. In addition to playing on his school’s
varsity golf team, Rodgers plays basketball and dedicates time as a volunteer
in a variety of areas, from a soup kitchen and a library to the 2008 Indy
Hoop Shoot. Rodgers competed in the boys 14-15 division of the 2007 Optimist
International Junior Golf Championships.
Mark Wehner is completing his senior year at Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati,
Ohio. He performed well on the ACT, with particularly high scores in the
areas of mathematics and science. Wehner, who is ranked first in his class
of 719 students, was named a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship
Program and has been honored for his academic accomplishments in various
competitions from the University of Cincinnati Mathematics Bowl to the Ralph
E. Oesper Science Olympiad Test. In addition to playing varsity golf for
his high school for the past three years, Wehner participated in the 2007
Ohio District qualifier.
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.
In recent years, Cranford has served as chairman and member of the committee
that oversees the Optimist Junior Golf program. He is currently an emeritus
member of the committee.