My name is Leah Pack and I am the A&E Section Editor this year. I have been a member of the Harbinger staff since sophomore year and participate in other school activities such as Student Council and SHARE. Read Full »
Seniors Conner Schrock and Henry Simpson are on the driving range. Seeing a flag in the distance, they make a bet: whoever can hit the flag the most times wins a good deal of money. The star golfers hit ball after ball at the flag. Schrock quickly gains hits on Simpson, winning in the end. Schrock gives his friend a break and lets Simpson off without paying. It’s a testament to their friendship they’ve developed over three years of golf at East.
Schrock and Simpson both recently signed on to play golf at Kansas State. Not only will they be facing much more intense competition in college, but they will be facing the competition side by side as best friends.
Looking back on the past year, Schrock has won regionals and the invitational at SME. Henry has won some smaller tournaments around the area and is working towards getting over the hump to pull off a big win.
“We really had no idea that we would end up going to college together,” said Simpson, “it’s just really cool that it worked out that way.”
Both golfers feel that attending K-State will be nothing but a beneficial experience. In addition to the constant competition and the pressure they will be able to put on one another to continue to grow as golfers, they will be coached by Tim Norris, who holds records for the lowest round in a competitive environment and has played in a professional tour.
Schrock and Simpson first met in middle school while playing on the same basketball team. Their friendship really took off after spending hours together on the course during their freshmen year of golf.
“Practices during season take place every day after school,” explained Schrock. “We definitely spend a lot of time together so that could be why we are such good friends.”
The golfers’ friendship sustains an inner competition that keeps them focused. Knowing that in the end golf is a team sport, Schrock and Simpson still compete with the goal of outplaying each other. Their ambitious nature fuels their friendship.
“Obviously we are pretty competitive,” said Simpson. “I think it has bettered us as friends but also as golfers. If one of us beats the other we always go up to the range until we feel like well, maybe I can beat him now.”
Before getting offered a partial scholarship, Simpson had his doubts about playing college golf.
“I kind of debated playing in college over the last two or three months,” Simpson said. “I thought it would be cool, but obviously you have to be realistic with yourself and kind of say do you really think you have a chance of making it or not.”
Simpson’s desire to play in college fluctuated with how well he was playing. In the end, the good days far outnumbered the bad, and when the offer was presented to him, he quickly decided to sign with the Wildcats. In contrast, Schrock knew he wanted to play golf in college from the time he started.
“I really had a passion for it early on, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” he said.
Even when Schrock was in the middle of a really tough round, as easy as it is to give up, his love of the game helped him to get in the right mindset and keep going.
“I definitely want to try to make a career out of it,” said Schrock. “I’m going to work really hard in college and hopefully just see where it takes me. If I can’t play professionally I’d like to work within golf, be a teacher or something like that.”
Schrock and Simpson’s signing didn’t come as a surprise to East golf coach, Ermanno Ritschl.
“Over the past [three] years they have improved their game and mindset tremendously,” Ritschl said. “They both work very hard. That’s the main reason they’ve been so successful; it’s a combination of hard work and talent.”