During the past four years Gibault High School senior Sam Range has utilized his fundamentally sound golf swing and strong mental approach to become one of top Class 1A players in the state.
Now Range is ready for the next step.
A four-time Class 1A state tournament qualifier, Range announced Thursday that he has accepted a scholarship offer to play golf at Bradley University in Peoria beginning later this summer.
A dominant force in metro-east high school golf throughout his stellar career at Gibault, Range also visited Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, John A. Logan College and Rockhurst University in Kansas City. But the chance to play NCAA Division I golf in Peoria were just two of the reasons Range chose to become a Brave
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“First of all, Bradley has great academics. I’m going to major in accounting and Bradley has an excellent accounting program,” Range said. “Plus, when I went up for my visit, I just really liked the campus and the coach was great. It’s also in a bigger city and I liked the idea of that as well.
“I’m excited about the future. I know I’ve got work to do on my game and being able to shoot lower scores on a more consistent basis. But I feel like my game is solid. I just want a chance.”
Right now, Range is being kept off the golf course. A member of the Gibault basketball program, Range is sidelined with an injury to his left arm suffered while playing basketball. The arm is in a sling which is expected to be taken off in about two weeks.
“It’s been tough, especially on a day like today (Thursday), not being able to play,” Range said. “I get this (sling-brace) off in a couple of weeks and then I’ll have a few weeks of rehab before I’ll be able to play. I’m looking at the middle of June before I’ll be able to practice and play a lot again.
“The good news is that I will be able to putt when I get this off in two weeks. I just won’t be able to swing the club for a while yet.”
A member of the Missouri Valley Conference, Bradley has been in the middle of the pack in recent years. Wichita State, Illinois State, Missouri State and SIU-Carbondale are the top programs in the MVC.
Range should have a chance to compete for a spot among the Braves’ top six players — Bradley’s top three players will graduate this spring.
“We have qualifying tournaments within the team to see who gets to play regular-season matches and tournaments. So my goal is to be in the top six so I’ll get to travel with the team,’’ Range said. “I know they (Bradley) recruited another freshman besides me and there will be other sophomores and juniors who will be competing as well.
“I just have to continue to work on my game and keep improving. The ultimate dream is to have a shot at playing professionally someday. But that’s a long ways off.”
Once he heals and gets his game into shape, Range plans to play in several amateur events before classes begin at Bradley in August.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2661.