Optimist Junior Golf recently announced the junior golfers of the 2019 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team. Those making the team exemplified an impressive balance of academics, golf and community service. After reviewing the qualifications of a record number of impressive applicants, the Optimist Junior Golf Committee selected the following exceptional student athletes for the team:
Ashley Au: Westerville, Ohio
Charlie Baker: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Blake Brantley: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Community Service Award Winner
Lindsey Thiele: Wahoo, Nebraska
This team exemplified an impressive balance of academics, golf and community service. 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 passed away in August 2014.
Ashley Au is a senior at Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio. Au has maintained a high grade point average while taking many honors and Advanced Placement courses through her high school years. Au has been involved in many activities at the school and in the community such as National Honors Society, French National Honor Society, French Club and a member of the Varsity Girls’ Golf team. She is an outstanding golfer ranked 108 with Junior Golf Scoreboard and been recruited to attend Yale University starting fall 2019.

Charlie Baker is a junior at The Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He maintains a 4.7 grade point average and was inducted into the Cum Laude Society this year. Baker was selected as Germination Fellow – an Intensive Philadelphia Youth Leadership Program during his sophomore year. Since seventh grade, he has been a member of the Math team and received the award for the highest score in the school on the National test. Baker studied photography in Iceland with National Geographic for two weeks his freshman year and worked as an assistant in a photography studio. He is a member of the Varsity Golf team, has won two league tournaments and was named first team all-league for the last two seasons. Last year, he qualified for the Philadelphia Amateur match play tournament and competed in the Honda Classic High School Invitational tournament.

Blake Brantley is a junior at RJ Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and ranked in the top 3% in his graduating class. Brantley maintains a 4.5 GPA while taking several Advanced Placement classes, is a member of the National Honor Society, an Academic All-American and Junior Marshall. He has scored in the top 1% nationally on both the SAT and ACT and plans to study business and law when he enters college. Brantley Captains the Varsity Golf Team and is the Conference Player of the Year. In his spare time, Brantley volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, Second Harvest Food Bank, HOPE and Meals on Wheels while also serving as a youth basketball coach and teaching golf lessons to juniors. Brantley is also the co-founder of the charity Golf Fore Life which has supported The First Tee Triad chapter with equipment and scholarships for 100s of participants to participate in The First Tee program.

The Community Service Award goes to:

Lindsey Thiele is a junior at Bishop Neumann High School in Wahoo, Nebraska and currently holds a 4.0 grade point average. Serves on the student council and a member of the National Honor Society. She is on the Basketball, Volleyball and Golf teams. Thiele started a tutoring program at the local elementary and junior high schools for students struggling with their reading and phonics skills. Other volunteer work includes clean up and assistance with recent flood victims in Nebraska, decorating the Senior Care Center at Christmas, helps at the Open Door Mission, which provides food and shelter to the homeless. Thiele also recently volunteered her time cleaning up leaves and raking bunkers after a major storm hit her local golf course.