Golfing at the University of Lynchburg
William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist
At the University of Lynchburg the golf teams are striving to be leaders in their community by excelling in academics and golf.
Harrison Hodgert, a junior golfer at the University devotes his time to academics, golf, and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee or SAAC. Hodgert said, “I believe I have left somewhat of a mark at the University especially for the golf program. I have tried my hardest academically and in golf and will continue to do so until I graduate. I hope to break and create more records for the golf program, but all records are meant to be broken and I know there will be a new guy who comes along that will be much better than me. I hope that whatever record I break or make helps encourage the new guys to play better and create their own mark at the university.”
Hodgert’s message to his fellow Hornets is, “To stay positive. We will all be back on the field and course when this is over. We all must do our part in staying healthy and safe and beat this pandemic. I know for me it is hard being in school and not being able to play the sport I love. I know we will be back out there soon enough doing what we love. We just have to stay positive and stay healthy.”
As the Former Men’s Golf Head Coach at the University of Lynchburg and Current Associate Provost and Dean of General Studies, Dean Chip Walton said, “I always tried to emphasize the parallels between academics and sports, namely the vital importance of preparation, practice, and the right mindset. Every time I failed at something, I learned an important lesson and used that as leverage when the next opportunity came my way. Life is going to throw you a curve and knock you down, but you will ultimately be judged by how you get back up and respond.”
Current Men’s Golf Head Coach Michael Veverka said, “It is hard to choose just one favorite memory. Each season brings on tons of opportunities for amazing moments. Whether it is watching a player drain a 30 foot putt to shoot a new personal best or seeing one of our other sports teams from campus come out to our home tournament and support our team in droves, they are all incredible! But choosing Lynchburg was easy! I mean, it is always a great day to be a Hornet!”
The golf program places importance on academics, Veverka said, “It is Student then Athlete, always! The good news is that all our players have been able to concentrate and excel in academics and golf even during their extended time away from campus. We have continued with those weekly, if not daily check-in’s this semester to ensure that all of our players are right “on par” with their academics just like their game!
The coronavirus is also affecting the Lynchburg golf team. Veverka said, “One jumps right into mind in either my sophomore or junior year of college. We had a tournament slated to begin down in Savannah Georgia in February. So naturally we were all excited to get into some warm weather, play a great event, and generally have a great time. We had positive attitudes rolling into it just like many of us did at the start of 2020. We quickly learned that our thoughts about the event were not going to turn to reality! High temperatures when we teed off were in the low to mid 30s, two holes in, it began to snow, nine holes in, it began to sleet and snow, and quite literally continue to snow from there on. We would see a little bit of sunshine poke through giving us hope, only to have it rushed away by another wintry cloud behind it! It feels a lot like this past year. The good news is that during our final round of the tournament sun shone through and the temperatures climbed back into normality. It really ended up being quite an enjoyable final round! My hope is that the same will end up being true for the end of this year and beyond!”