East senior Austin Galloway signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play golf at Millikin University in Decatur, fulfilling a long-time wish.
“The Millikin coaches (Sam Osborne and Chris Garcia) are both great people and I have been talking to them for a while. They told me from the start that they wanted me to be part of their program,” Galloway said. “It’s a great school where I’ll be able to get a great education and the golf program is successful. I really didn’t look at any other schools.”
A four-year varsity player at Belleville East, Galloway had his best season in 2016. With a scoring average of 38 per nine holes, he advanced to the Class 3A state tournament where he shot rounds of 82 and 86 at the Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington to finish in a tie for 81st place.
Belleville East coach Terry Neutzling describes Galloway as a tireless worker.
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“Austin is the type of person you want your son to be like. He is well-mannered, polite, respectful of people and their feelings. He’s the type of kid you never have to worry about. He represented Belleville East golf very well,” Neutzling said.
“Austin is tremendously long off the tee, but he’s also learned how important the short game is. I think Millikin is a great fit for him. He’s got a bright future there.”
Galloway will join a Millkin program that includes former Triad High Schoolgolfer Blaine Buente, a senior on the Big Blue men’s golf team, and former Belleville West golfer David Crosby, a freshman.
Galloway said his strength and length off the tee is an asset but that he is also gotten more accurate in the last couple of years.
“I probably hit it 320-340 yards off the tee consistently,” Galloway said with a smile. “The difference recently for me recently than in the past is that I’m also more accurate, I’m able to keep it in the fairway more now.
“We live at Stonewolf (Golf Course) and I practice and play there a lot. It’s a course that requires you to keep the ball in the fairway. I try to play the tips (back tees) as much as I can because the courses they play in college are longer then the ones in high school.”
Galloway, who plans to major in business while at Millikin, hopes to play professional golf after college.