CWGA

Ever-Increasing Numbers

At least 35 Colorado junior golfers/JGAC members will play college golf starting in fall, including minimum of 17 in NCAA Division I
by Gary Baines

At roughly the midway point of the college season, seven golfers who grew up in Colorado were ranked among the top 200 men’s or women’s college players in the nation, according to Golfstat or Golfweek.

On the men’s side, there’s AJ Ott and Jake Staiano of Colorado State, Chris Korte of the University of Denver and Spencer Painton of the University of Colorado.

For the women, there’s Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest, Hannah Wood of Oklahoma and Mary Weinstein of DU.

For each one of them, there are dozens of Colorado junior golfers aspiring to be like them — one day playing college golf and succeeding at it.

Which brings us to the next group of college golfers from Colorado. In November, we posted a story that included a list of high school seniors from the Centennial State — or members of the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado — who had signed National Letters of Intent to play college golf or had verbally committed to do so.

The list was lengthy at that time — during the early NLI signing period for golf — and it’s grown considerably in the interim.

By our latest count — and this will likely increase during the spring and summer — 35 local golfers from the Class of 2018 have committed to play college golf beginning in the fall. That includes 22 boys and 13 girls.

Eleven boys from Colorado — or out-of-state residents who are JGAC members — are headed for NCAA Division I programs:

Caleb Blackburn (Discovery Canyon HS) — University of Pennsylvania
Davis Bryant (Eaglecrest HS) — Colorado State
Jack Castiglia (Lakewood HS) — Northern Colorado
Kirby Coe-Kirkham (JGAC member from Sheridan, Wyo.) — Wyoming
Oliver Jack (Kent Denver HS) — University of Colorado
Barrett Jones (Eagle Valley HS) — Northern Colorado
Cal McCoy (pictured above, Regis Jesuit HS) — University of Denver
Thomas Messner (Colorado Academy) — Army (West Point, N.Y.)
Tyler Severin (Roosevelt HS) — Wyoming
Ian Thorpe (Peak to Peak HS) — Iona College (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
Luke Trujillo (Discovery Canyon HS) — Air Force Academy

And six on the girls side are DI-bound:

Jenna Chun (Highlands Ranch HS) — Northern Colorado
Kyree Conaway (Vista Peak HS) — Wagner College (Staten Island, N.Y.)
Arielle Keating (former Colorado Springs resident) — Florida Atlantic (Boca Raton)
Lauren Murphy (Colorado Rocky Mountain School; plays for Glenwood Springs HS) — Oregon State
Shelby Poynter (JGAC member from Scottsbluff, Neb.) — Northern Colorado
Kelsey Webster (Fairview HS) — University of Colorado

Overall, here’s the complete rundown of the Colorado/JGAC Class of 2018 commitments, with the level of the college program. The list of signees/commitments here will continue to be updated . Additions to the list can be emailed to golfjournal@coloradogolf.org:

Boys
Caleb Blackburn (Discovery Canyon HS) — University of Pennsylvania (NCAA Div. I)
Davis Bryant (Eaglecrest HS) — Colorado State (NCAA Div. I)
Jack Castiglia (Lakewood HS) — Northern Colorado (NCAA Div. I)
Kirby Coe-Kirkham (JGAC member from Sheridan, Wyo.) — Wyoming (NCAA Div. I)
Spencer Daake (Monarch HS) — Hastings (Neb.) College (NAIA)
Nishant Datta (Peak to Peak HS) — University of Rochester (N.Y.) (NCAA Div. III)
Freddie Gluck (Boulder HS) — Rochester (N.Y.) (NCAA Div. III)
Gabe Goodman (Green Mountain HS) — Concordia (N.Y.) (NCAA Div. II)
Oliver Jack (Kent Denver HS) — University of Colorado (NCAA Div. I)
Barrett Jones (Eagle Valley HS) — Northern Colorado (NCAA Div. I)
Brayden Lambrecht (Sterling HS) — Colorado Mesa (NCAA Div. II)
Cal McCoy (Regis Jesuit HS) — University of Denver (NCAA Div. I)
Kieran McMullen (Rock Canyon HS) — Concordia College (N.Y.) (NCAA Div. II)
Thomas Messner (Colorado Academy) — Army (West Point, N.Y.) (NCAA Div. I)
Sam Ostravich (ThunderRidge HS) — Northeastern Junior College in Sterling
Ryan Pierce (Doherty HS) — Bethany College (Kansas) (NAIA)
Micah Ramirez (Resurrection Christian HS) — Doane University (Nebraska) (NAIA)
Kailer Rundiks (Denver East HS) — Western New Mexico (NCAA Div. II)
Andrew Rush (Palmer HS) — Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa) (NCAA Div. III)
Tyler Severin (Roosevelt HS) — Wyoming (NCAA Div. I)
Ian Thorpe (Peak to Peak HS) — Iona College (New Rochelle, N.Y.) (NCAA Div. I)
Luke Trujillo (Discovery Canyon HS) — Air Force Academy (NCAA Div. I)
Jackson Zinn (Ralston Valley HS) — New Mexico Military Institute (Junior College)

Girls
Josie Baker (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) — Saint Andrew College (Scotland)
Erin Baum (Frederick HS) — Iowa Lakes Community College
Anna Branscome (Bear Creek HS) — Chadron State (Neb.) (NCAA Div. II)
Payton Canon (Cherry Creek HS) — Oregon Tech (NAIA)
Jenna Chun (Highlands Ranch HS) — Northern Colorado (NCAA Div. I)
Kyree Conaway (Vista Peak HS) — Wagner College (Staten Island, N.Y.) (NCAA Div. I)
Kayla Elder (Fort Collins HS) — Chadron State (Nebraska) (NCAA Div. II)
Gabriella Esquibel (Heritage HS) — Regis University (NCAA Div. II)
Callie Jones (Glenwood Springs HS) — Winona State (Winona, Minn.) (NCAA Div. II)
Arielle Keating (former Colorado Springs resident) — Florida Atlantic (Boca Raton) (NCAA Div. I)
Izzy Marchino (Valor Christian HS) — Jamestown (N.D.) (NAIA)
Brandy McClain (Rock Canyon HS) — Colorado Mesa (NCAA Div. II)
Lauren Murphy (Colorado Rocky Mountain School; plays for Glenwood Springs HS) — Oregon State (NCAA Div. I)
Shelby Poynter (JGAC member from Scottsbluff, Neb.) — Northern Colorado (NCAA Div. I)
Kelsey Webster (Fairview HS) — University of Colorado (NCAA Div. I)

Bryant was the 2017 boys JGAC Player of the Year, and Jack (CU) and Trujillo (Air Force Academy) join him in having won state high school individual titles. Bryant and McCoy (DU) were both members of Colorado’s Junior America’s Cup team last year. Castiglia and Rundiks are part of the Hale Irwin Player Program at CommonGround Golf Course.

On the girls side, Webster was the 2016 girls JGAC Most Improved Player and she won the girls AJGA Preview title last year in Wisconsin. She’s headed to CU — her dad’s alma mater — in her hometown of Boulder. Keating (Florida Atlantic) moved from Colorado Springs to Stuart, Fla., shortly after winning the girls Colorado Junior Amateur championship last year. And Poynter (left, UNC) qualified for the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior.

Looking ahead to signings for Class of 2019 players, CU has garnered a commitment from Canon Olkowski of Grand Junction. Olkowski is the brother of current CU player Trevor Olkowski. Dillon Stewart of Fort Collins (Fossil Ridge High School) is headed for Oklahoma State. Jessica Zapf of Windsor has committed to the University of Wyoming. And Lauren Lehigh of Loveland is bound for the University of New Mexico.

2018-05-09T08:14:16+00:00 February 15th, 2018|