Story and photo by Mark Carpenter –
Another student/athlete from Adams County has made the decision to continue their athletic career and this one will be on the links as North Adams senior Patrick England signed his letter of intent last week to become part of the newly formed men’s golf program at the University of Rio Grande. England made it official in a signing ceremony held at NAHS on Wednesday, April 5, attended by family, friends, school officials, and teammates from the Devils’ golf squad.
England was part of history last fall at North Adams, helping to lead the Devils to their first-ever berth in the state golf tournament. The exposure from that trip and his quality play all season drew the attention of Rio men’s golf coach Keith Wilson.
“We found out that Patrick was golfing in the state tournament and credentials really go up high when that happens,” said Coach Wilson. “We started to talking to other coaches and got a recommendation for Patrick from West Union head coach Carl Schneider. When you have the respect of a competitor, that really impressed me a lot and that is when we made our first contact with Patrick. I think his family was impressed with the fact that I coach student/athletes who play golf, I don’t coach golfers who are students.”
“We’re a new program and he is our second signee so Patrick will walk in and play a lot for us.”
As far as England is concerned, the recommendation of Coach Schneider helped him make the decision to become part of the Rio program.
“Coach Wilson contacted me and told me that I had been recommended to him by Coach Schneider,” said England. “He told me that Rio was starting s golf program and that he was interested in having me as part of the team. He came to the high school and met with my parents and myself and told us all about the plans for his program. I was very excited to be offered the chance to play golf at the next level, as well as the opportunity to travel to different states to play in tournaments.”
“I think it will be exciting to be part of the new golf program at Rio and to see where the experience will take me in the future.”
North Adams head golf coach Ammon Mitchell is also excited to see one of his squad head to the next level of competition and talked about the part England played in the Devils’ program.
“Patrick’s signing means a lot to North Adams High School, “ said Mitchell. “First of all, he is a true leader, the only senior on our team that went to state. He meant so much to the underclassmen on our team, working with them every day. He was the ultimate teammate and I can’t say enough good things about him. I wish him all the best at the next level and I think he will do really well.”