Twenty-four of the nation’s brightest minds and best junior golfers were named to the 2013 HP Scholastic Junior All-America Team, the American Junior Golf Association and HP announced Monday, Oct. 7. Sponsored by HP since 1988, the team consists of 12 young men and 12 young women who demonstrate the ability to excel both on the golf course and in the classroom.
To be eligible to apply for the HP Scholastic Junior All-America Team, boys must have placed in the top 10 of an AJGA Open or Invitational, while girls needed a top-five finish. The selections were then based on grade point average, class rank, SAT/ACT/PLAN/PSAT scores, community service and writing ability. Candidates were required to submit an essay no longer than 500 words on an original topic relating to golf.
“HP is once again proud to recognize outstanding academic, athletic, and community service achievements with the naming of the 2013 HP Scholastic Junior All-America Team,” said John Dayan, Vice President, Technology Services Group, Hewlett-Packard. “The AJGA, working closely with parents and players alike, strives to prepare these young adults for life in college and beyond, by instilling honor, integrity, persistence and sportsmanship. HP and the AJGA are celebrating 25 years of support for this award and recognition of excellence.”
The 12 boys on the HP Scholastic Junior All-America team are Franklin Huang of Poway, Calif. (2014), Andrew McKinney of Danville, Ky. (2014), Mitchell Meissner of San Antonio (2014), Jackson Moss of New Albany, Ohio (2014), William Register of Burlington, N.C. (2014), Sam Rosenberg of Dallas (2014), Michael Sharp of Kendallville, Ind. (2014), Corey Shaun of Encinitas, Calif. (2014), Nathan Tenpas of Chevy Chase, Md. (2014), Carter Thompson of Tallahassee, Fla. (2014), Jens Verhey of Reno, Nev. (2014), and Jackson Wendling of Effingham, Ill. (2015)
The 12 girls on the HP Scholastic Junior All-America team are Alexandra Farnsworth of Nashville, Tenn. (2014), Madison Glennie of Clearwater, Fla. (2014), Alexandra Harkins of Crystal Lake, Ill. (2014), Tatum Jackson of Mountain Brook, Ala. (2014), Sabrina Long of Alpharetta, Ga. (2015), Julie Luo of Centreville, Va. (2015), Emily Mills of Farmingdale, N.J. (2014), Shawn Rennegarbe of Addieville, Ill. (2014), Jayshree Sarathy of Palo Alto, Calif. (2014), Michelle Xie of Palo Alto, Calif. (2015), Nancy Xu of Sunnyvale, Calif. (2014), and Anna Zhou of Palo Alto, Calif. (2015)
These outstanding individuals will be honored at the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet, Nov. 24, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. By being named to this team, each player is also eligible to participate in the Polo Golf Junior Classic, one of the most prestigious events in junior golf, which will take place on PGA National Resort & Spa's Champion and Fazio Courses, Nov. 23-29.
Former HP Scholastic Junior All-Americans have gone on to successful amateur and professional golf careers, including Casey Martin (1989), Wendy Ward (1990), Kellee Booth (1992), Matt Kuchar (1994), Scott Langley (2005) and Patrick Rodgers (2009, 2010).
The HP Scholastic Honor Roll recognizes those juniors who have achieved a weighted GPA of 3.5 or higher, but who were not selected as HP Scholastic All-Americans. For a complete 2013 Honor Roll list click here
ESSAY AWARD WINNER - Jackson Wendling, Effingham, Ill. (2015)
A Great Ride
Yes. It was a great ride… But somebody had to do it! And I’m glad it was me. I’ve been around for a long time: since 2004 to be exact. This kid has carried me since he was six years old. We’ve been through many events and elements. During the early years, I carried only four clubs, few balls, and the latest indestructible tees. I evolved to support fourteen clubs, several Pro V1x’s, a range finder and the latest AJGA towel. A very special, red nametag was strategically placed on my side to identify my junior. I have traveled thousands of miles, watched countless balls being struck and, occasionally, I’ve been slammed to the ground after a three-putt. Over the years, I have faded a bit and lost a little spring in my stand, but I am proud to have been a part of this exciting journey.
My time off was spent on a hook in a cold, mid-western garage. The lights brightened nearly the same time every night for practice. I hung near the net to watch ball after ball being hit. Music jammed from Junior’s iPhone muffling the crack of each compressed shot. Occasionally, Dad would step out to check on Junior’s progress. The same words of encouragement were offered each evening, “Swings are made in the off-season and players are made on the course.” As the days lengthened and the temperatures warmed, every daylight hour after school was spent on the course preparing for the year’s first event. The 40-degree temps allowed us the freedom to navigate throughout the course with little interference.
Finally, the AJGA season opener arrived and the eagerness for the competition peaked. I was shoved in the travel bag and transported hundreds of miles. Upon arrival, I was placed near the practice green next to the sign that read, “Players and Coaches Only.” What about me? I stood and watched putt after putt. Later, at the range, I was strategically placed near a group of college coaches that watched every swing. Competitors were lined up striking shot-after-shot, seemingly synchronized like a refined dance team. I was clearly not the only bag to witness such dedication. At the first tee, my clubs are counted and surveyed. I am loaded with more weight: a sand bottle to “Care for the Course!” Later in the round, it began to pour! I was soaked to the stand by the end of the round. We rushed off to the hotel where my contents were placed beside the air conditioner, and I was left alone to dry.
The final days of the event were an intense battle. Junior’s solid play drew the attention of the college coaches. Years of hard work, dedication and commitment paid off, allowing me to retire. Junior secured first-place and a brand-new AJGA Champion’s Bag. Once again, I was placed on the hook in the garage left to reminisce over my life experiences. It was a great ride. A great ride, indeed!