WEST UNION — As far as the 2020 recruiting class is concerned, Shawnee State’s Dave Hopkins has placed a high value on getting the best student-athletes that he can find from the Ohio Valley and Southern Hills Athletic Conferences.
With Madison Fulton coming into the program, Hopkins has certainly made recruiting those conferences a priority.
Fulton, who qualified for OHSAA Division II Southeast District Tournament competition in her final season at West Union High School in Adams County, becomes the fourth and final member of the incoming recruiting class.
“It feels like an honor,” Fulton said. “It means that I can expand on my skill of golf and enjoy playing it even more with new people, which is exciting to me.”
Fulton, who competed at the Division II Southeast sectional level from her sophomore to her senior season with the Dragons, improved drastically by lowering her stroke count by 20 in three seasons.
She finished in a tie for 58th in 2017 by shooting a 115, and was able to compete in the OHSAA Division II Southeast District Tournament with West Union qualifying its entire team for that stage.
Fulton shot a 116 to finish in 32nd-place.
After slightly improving in 2018 and finishing in a tie for 17th-place by shooting a 114 in sectional competition, Fulton made a massive improvement in 2019 — shooting a solid 44 on the back nine at Jaycees Golf Course to claim an 18-hole score of 95.
This performance allowed Fulton to finish in a tie for ninth in the OHSAA Division II Southeast Sectional Tournament — and claim the last of the four qualifying slots from an individual standpoint for the Southeast District Tournament.
There, Fulton fininshed in a tie for 21st, shooting a 104.
Her performances led her to joining fellow SSU women’s golf signee Alexis Tompkins on the 2019 all-SHAC Girls Golf Team.
The three-year rotational standout credits West Union’s welcoming environment for her performance as a high school student-athlete.
“It was very lovely,” Fulton said. “We really felt like a family. Even when one wasn’t doing well, we would still raise them up, give them tips, and congratulate them when they did well. With them, golf wasn’t a responsibility, but something to enjoy with others.”
In addition to playing golf at West Union, Fulton also played volleyball for the Dragons for a short period and was involved in the school’s performing arts and color guard units.
Her play on the volleyball court, while faster-paced as per the nature of the game, proved to be an additional help from a golfing standpoint.
“Volleyball helped me to have a keen eye and to focus on the smaller details,” Fulton said. “This, in turn, helped me to look for details to aim toward in golf.”
Now, Fulton has the opportunity to make similar gains on the golf course at the collegiate level.
The future biology major is looking forward to the opportunities that she’ll certainly have at SSU, especially with a strong environment supporting her as she pursues her endeavors on and off the field of play.
“I was attracted to Shawnee State because of the family-like atmosphere that the campus and the golf team portrays,” Fulton said. “While there, I hope to establish confidence in what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
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