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Dickson grad Chase Hightower pens with Hesston College golf

Staff Writer
The Daily Ardmoreite
Chase Hightower signed on Monday to play golf at Hesston College.

By Mallory Graves

mgraves@ardmoreite.com

Chase Hightower’s talent shines through the cracks of these chaotic times.

Hightower started off the month right by signing to continue his golfing career at Hesston College in Kansas on Monday. He recently graduated from Dickson High School and is ready for the future.

Even though Hightower had to postpone his signing until school was out for health and safety reasons, he is still thankful for the opportunity to do so.

“I was a little nervous in front of the camera, but it was fun getting to see all of my friends, family and coaches again,” Hightower said. “I was excited and relieved to finally commit to Hesston College, because it seemed like such a daunting task. I was worried if I would get to play anywhere or not. When Coach Dustin Galyon offered me a large scholarship, it felt like a ton of weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Galyon had discovered me through a recruiting website for high school athletes called NCSA, which is Next College Student Athlete.”

Golf is Hightower’s passion. He has been playing the sport for seven years.

“I really enjoy golfing,” Hightower said. “My favorite parts about the sport are being outside all the time, competing against gifted individuals and meeting new people.”

Hightower’s life has been changed by golf and many doors have been opened because of it.

“I’ve met a few of my best friends in golf tournaments and I have also made some great connections,” Hightower said. “Those relationships have allowed me to be able to play college golf. My first swing coach, Steve Gardner, is a close friend of mine and has helped me become who I am as a golfer and as a person. He was my instructor up until about my sophomore year. I really believe playing golf has taught me integrity, honesty, patience, and mindfulness.”

Some things have to be taken away to realize the value of it. When COVID-19 took away Hightower’s senior golf season, he realized he couldn’t go without playing the sport he loves.

“When school shut down and the rest of my golf tournaments were canceled, it helped me realize that I really and truly am passionate about this sport,” Hightower said. “I knew then that I wanted to continue my golf career into college.”

Getting to the top can be tough with no support. Hightower credits his coaches for getting him to where he is today.

“Bill Knodle is my current swing coach,” Hightower said. “Bill is an awesome guy who has helped me refine my swing to what it is now. Coach Justin Shaw was my school coach since seventh grade. He has been a great mentor and friend. When the coronavirus lockdown took effect, he took initiative and contacted tons of college coaches for me. He also nominated me for several awards such as the Dickson’s Tribble Athlete of the year. Also, before I could drive, my family would drive me out to the course every day so I could practice. If it wasn’t for their help, I don’t know if I could have gotten where I am today.”