Story and photo by Mark Carpenter –
One of the more successful golfers in Adams County in recent years will be continuing his career on the links at the collegiate level. In a ceremony held at West Union High School on Oct. 26, the Dragons’ Craig Horton got all the suspense out of the way when he signed his letter-of-intent to become a member of the men’s golf team at Shawnee State University in 2017.
It is no secret in the county that West Union head golf coach Carl Schneider has created a program that can definitely be termed a local “dynasty” and for the past four years, Horton has played a major part in the squad’s successes, consistently placing in the top 10 in every golf match that the Dragons have competed in.
In the 2016 season, which ended with the Dragons making a second consecutive appearance in the state golf tournament, Horton helped to lead his team to wins in the Adams County Cup, the Southern Hills Athletic Conference Tournament, plus the Division III sectional and district tournaments, leading to the trip to the state tourney. Horton was named an All-SHAC golfer and also named First Team All-District by the Coaches Association.
“Shawnee is a great school and it’s close to home,” said Horton at the signing ceremony. “Plus it has the major that I wanted. Earlier this fall at the Portsmouth Invitational Coach Hopkins made contact with me and everything just fell into place from there.”
Both the boys and girls golf programs at Shawnee State are headed up by a familiar face to many local sports fans in Coach Dave Hopkins, who has been a basketball official and is a teacher at Portsmouth Middle School.
“I watched Craig last year and this year and followed him through your paper and through Coach Schneider,” Coach Hopkins told the Defender. “Carl does a great job coaching the kids and getting the kids recognized. I have watched Craig mature and become a better player for four years. We had Robbie Pell here for four years and he was kind of our West Union connection. He often tells me about kids down this way that I need to look at and need to follow, so he helped connect with Craig.”
“I got to know Craig and his family more when they came down at played at the Elks Course and I kind of followed up the last couple of weeks in their run to the state tournament. Number one, Craig is a great student and number two, he’s a great kid and number three, he’s a winner. He was a leader on two state tournament teams and anytime you can get a winner from a good home and a good program, it’s a win-win situation for all of us.”
While at Shawnee State, Horton plans to study Plastics Engineering.