RACINE, Ohio — Hoping to provide another jolt.
Southern senior Jensen Anderson will be continuing his golf career after signing with the University of Rio Grande on Monday, April 22, during a small ceremony on the stage at Southern High School.
Anderson — a four-year varsity letterwinner in golf — was a four-time All-Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division selection on the links while also guiding the Tornadoes to league titles over his final two years with the program.
Anderson competed in a trio of Division III district tournaments during his time with the Purple and Gold and was also the TVC Hocking Most Valuable Golfer his junior campaign.
A multi-sport athlete, Anderson also has three years apiece with the varsity basketball and baseball programs — earning All-TVC Hocking honors in each sport at least once.
Yet, when the time came to focus on competing at the collegiate level — Anderson reverted back to his first love. More importantly, it was an opportunity to contribute immediately while still being somewhat close to home.
That, more than anything, made becoming a member of the RedStorm a less-than-difficult choice.
“This was an easy decision for me to make because Rio Grande has a good school and it’s close to home. The program is growing and I can be a part of that growth over the next four years,” Anderson said. “Obviously Coach (Keith) Wilson can help me shave a few strokes off my game and make me a better player. I want to be one of the best players in the league and I want to be the best player that I can be for Rio Grande. That’s what I’m hoping for anyways.”
The RedStorm took a considerable step forward this year after finishing their second season of existence with a third place effort in the River States Conference tournament.
SHS golf coach Jeff Caldwell believes that Anderson will provide a big boost for the young Rio Grande program, plus he also feels that having the chance to go in and contribute immediately will benefit his former player.
So, in all, Caldwell feels like this a win-win scenario — including for his own golf program.
“It’s a pretty big deal for our program to have someone move on to the collegiate level. Jensen had worked really hard to become a really good golfer who has also been a really big part of our program the last four years,” Caldwell said. “Rio Grande is getting a young man with good work ethic, a competitive spirit and the will to get better. It’s a good situation for everyone involved.”
Anderson acknowledges that the hard work has paid off, but he also knows that a lot of other people have helped him get to this moment in time. He was certainly appreciative of those others in discussing his signing.
“I have had good coaches at Southern, plus my grandfather has taught me a lot about the game too as I was growing up,” Anderson said. “I feel prepared for this next step, but I owe a lot to the people who have helped get me to this point. I want to make them proud.”
Anderson currently holds a 3.7 grade-point average and plans on majoring in Industrial Technology to pursue a career as an electrician.
Jensen is the son of Brian and Brandy Anderson of Racine, Ohio.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.