SOUTH WEBSTER — It’s not often a person becomes the first to do something.
South Webster senior Gavin Baker experienced that earlier this week, on Tuesday to be exact, when he became the first Jeep in school history to sign to continue his golf career at the collegiate level.
The men’s golf program at Shawnee State University gained Baker as a signee in the Class of 2022.
With his sights set on enrolling into the SSU nursing program, and continuing to play the game he loves, Baker said he knew the school was going to be his choice.
“I’ve got to practice with the Shawnee players, so I got to experience that before I signed or even committed. I always wanted to golf in college, and with Shawnee having such a successful nursing program I knew it was my fit,” Baker said.
During his time as a golfer on the South Webster boys team, Baker was named Southern Ohio Conference Division I first team during his junior and senior seasons — and was a major part of the Jeeps’ SOC I championship in 2021.
Baker finished second among all individuals during the 2020 Division III Southeast District tournament, finishing as the district runner-up to Manchester’s Daulton McDonald — with a 3-over round (75) at the Elks Country Club.
That round was a career-best in postseason tournament play, and was possible because of the time and effort Baker says he dedicated during his high school career.
“I had to work to improve every year, it didn’t come naturally for me. My freshman year I fell in love with the game. I had a lot of teammates I got to learn from along the way,” Baker said. “Coach (Josh) Horner, I’ve always been really lucky to have him as a coach. He really knows what he’s talking about and can help you improve.”
Joined by parents Jason and Angie and sister Grace, as well as friends and family, Baker became the first of a hopeful line of SW golfers into the college ranks.
“It just shows how loved I am and makes me feel loved that I have all these people here to help support me,” Baker said, of the support he’s received.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved