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Nick Waskom and Zack Lee have been high school teammates the past four years, but next year, they’ll be competitors.
The Columbus North senior golfers made verbal commitments last week to attend Crossroads League schools beginning next fall. Waskom will play for Taylor University, and Lee is headed to Huntington University.
The pair will receive partial scholarships to the NAIA schools and are the third and fourth seniors from the state runner-up North golf squad to commit to colleges.
Christian Fairbanks is headed to Indiana University, and Michael VanDeventer will play for Ball State.
“That speaks to the depth of our program,” North coach Doug Bieker said.
After playing junior varsity for most of his first two years, Waskom was a fixture in the Bull Dogs’ top five last season. He averaged 77.36 in 14 18-hole rounds, with a low of 69, and tied for 51st in the state finals.
“Nick kind of came out of nowhere,” Bieker said. “He was hovering around 6, 7, 8 position the year before, and once he established himself early on last season, he never gave up that spot. It was obvious to me he worked extremely hard over last summer and last fall. He certainly was a big part of our success.”
Lee has been North’s No. 6 golfer the past two seasons. He averaged 80.43 in seven 18-hole rounds and 38.2 for six nine-hole rounds as a junior.
“He’s a talented player,” Bieker said. “The college coach probably realized that. He’s been right there the last couple of years; and if Nick hadn’t stepped up last year, it would have been easier for Zack to step into that (varsity) spot.
“I’m expecting big things out of Zack this year,” he said. “I think he has something to prove, and I think he wants to do that and help us excel.”
Waskom plans to major in something science-related or possibly pre-med. He said Taylor coach Cameron Andry projected him as a top-five player his freshman season.
“I like the golf coaches a lot, and the guys on the team are pretty cool,” Waskom said. “I like that it’s a small school and a Christian school.”
Lee plans to major in recreational business management. He said Huntington coach Mark Green also said he would likely be a top-five player as a freshman.
“The whole place, being a small campus, is nice,” Lee said. “I met the whole team, and it’s almost like a family. Just the atmosphere, I like it a lot.”
Lee played in one or two tournaments a week this summer and has played in a couple of events this fall, including last weekend’s Hoosier Junior Championship at Otter Creek. He finished 23rd with rounds of 80 and 77 in a tournament at Delaware Country Club in Muncie.
Waskom, meanwhile, played in several tournaments this summer but recently has been hampered by a back injury that led him to withdraw from the Hoosier Junior.
“I can still play golf, just not at tournament level,” Waskom said. “I’ve been resting it, and it’s getting better. I’ve been working on my game a little bit instead of playing a lot.”
Waskom said the goal for next season is to win a state championship. The Bull Dogs were runners-up in 2011 and 2013 and finished fourth in 2012.
“Team goal is to finish what we started three years ago and finally win a state championship,” Lee said. “My goal is to improve and be in the top five on the team.”
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