Walsh Jesuit junior Chase Johnson and Stow junior Ian Holt both gave an oral commitment to continue their academic and golf careers at Kent State University.
Johnson and Holt are both 16-years-old and have two years of high school remaining and are scheduled to join KSU’s men's golf team in 2014.
“Chase and I are good friends,” Holt said. “This is a great opportunity. I can't wait. It is going to be a blast. I am happy to get it out of the way because it lifts some weight off my shoulders. I just want to keep getting better and give myself a chance to play as a freshman in college.”
Coaches Herb Page and Rob Wakeling guided KSU to a tie for fifth place at the NCAA Division I Championships last month at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
“They are a great program that has been on the rise,” Holt said. “Herb Page and Rob Wakeling are both great coaches. It is just nice to be asked to be part of that.
“It is basically in my background and it is a nationally ranked program, why wouldn't I go there? It was a pretty easy decision when it comes down to it.”
Holt tied with Beau Titsworth, a 2012 Cleveland St. Ignatius graduate, for the Division I medalist honors last year at the Division I state golf tournament on the Ohio State University Scarlet Course in Columbus.
Holt, who plays under Stow coach Ken Miller, said he has a 3.7 cumulative grade point average.
Johnson, a Barberton resident who plays under Walsh coach Joe Denton, has a 3.8 cumulative grade point average. He also competed at the state tournament last year and finished tied for 32nd.
“I am really excited because my family and I have always liked Kent State,” Johnson said. “My dad is my golf coach and he definitely loved that it’s close to home, and I did too.”
Kent State also placed sixth at the NCAA Championships in 2008 and ninth in 2000. The tie for fifth also put KSU among a select group of four schools that have finished in the top 20 at the NCAA Championships during each of the past three seasons. USC, UCLA and Texas A&M are the other three to have accomplished the feat.
“Kent State’s team is really good,” Johnson said. “Herb Page and Rob Wakeling are great guys and I really like them. They have great kids on the team and I'm a Kent State fan. That made my decision pretty easy. I am looking forward to getting back to the state tournament and finishing high school. Getting to college is also on my mind too.”