CACC golfers make college choicesPublished 10:38am Thursday, November 21, 2013
Two more players are continuing the tradition Central Alabama Community College’s men’s golf team has of churning out top players that move onto the college level.
Andrew Klasing and Tim Walker have made their decision on their next stops for collegiate golf. Klasing will attend Georgia Southern, and Walker will attend Mississippi State.
With both programs losing seniors next year, Klasing and Walker said the chance to make immediate impacts influenced their decisions.
“It’s an SEC school and a Division I school that’s highly ranked,” Walker said of his choice. “They have a lot of seniors leaving, so that gives me a good opportunity to compete as well.”
Klasing added that the proximity of Georgia Southern to his home state (North Carolina) also tipped the scales.
“I looked at all aspects of it,” Klasing said. “It’s about three and a half hours away from my hometown, so the location’s perfect. They’ve got some seniors leaving too, so that opens up some opportunities for me to step right in and play in tournaments. Georgia Southern has a great program, great facilites and it’s a great school. It fit well with what I wanted.”
CACC golf coach Dave Jennings said he was proud of Walker and Klasing’s choice, saying that – in addition to the value of degrees from those schools – they’d be playing for highly reputable golf programs.
“Tim is the second player I’ve had to go to Mississippi State, and Andrew is the third one to go to Georgia Southern,” Jennings said. “Both are just killer programs, and the degrees from those schools will travel.”
Both Klasing and Walker knew early on where they wanted to continue their collegiate playing careers. With the decision made, Jennings said he thinks both players have set themselves up for future successes.
“It’s such a heavy burden,” Jennings said of the players having to make college choices. “But now they don’t have to be sidetracked. They know what’s next, and they are both going to progams that are well-respected. They’ll have the chance to compete nationally all four years.”
With CACC’s run of success in golf, Walker and Klasing said they were honored to play for Jennings and the CACC golf team.
“That was kind of the main reason why I felt pretty privilieged to come here,” Walker said. “Coach Jennings took a pretty big chance on me, and I owe everything to coach. We came to a winning program, and we want to leave it as winners. That’s what our objective is.”
Klasing added, “I felt extremely privilieged to come here and have a chance to compete on a national championship level. It’s the most fun thing I’ve ever done. For me to do that and have a place to move on and compete is pretty awesome. I’m very thankful.”
With the future decided, both players turn their attention to finishing the season strong.
Walker is currently ranked No. 1 among junior college players.
“I have plans to improve my short game and things like that,” he said. “We haven’t gone back-to-back here since 2000-01, and we want to do that.”
Klasing said the Trojans’ winning pedigree is something the team wants to continue.
“Winning breeds winning,” Klasing said. “I’m going to get my game together over the winter and make sure we can put another ring on our finger. If we do what we’re supposed to, everything should take care of itself.”
As for Jennings, he said seeing Walker and Klasing secure next-level stops is all a part of the gig.
“It makes me feel like I’m doing my job,” Jennings said. “My final objective is to get these guys ready and make sure they flourish on the next level. That’s the reward for me. My reward is when these guys get a chance to live their dreams of playing four years of college golf, and what they do after that is gravy. These guys have the the talent to become pro golfers and make a living at it. I do want to see them get their four-year degrees and enjoy both levels of college golf.”