High School Sports

Fun process for HHCA's Vilcheck ends in college choice -- Louisiana Tech

Chandler Vilcheck isn't sure which part was the most trying -- putting in the work necessary to draw interest from NCAA Division I golf coaches or deciding which of those interested programs would earn his services next season.

Either way, he's grateful for having gone through the process and thankful it's over.

The Hilton Head Christian Academy senior signed a national letter-of-intent to play golf at Louisiana Tech on Wednesday, the first day high school golfers could sign with colleges.

"It was pretty stressful at first, because you don't know who really wants you and who doesn't and how everything will play out," said Vilcheck, who picked the Bulldogs over Wake Forest and Furman. "Looking back on it, it was a lot of fun."

Building up to his decision, Vilcheck said the past year was the most stressful of his golf career, but it was also among the most successful. He currently ranks first in the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour's points standings, having already won the tour's winter and fall championships and will shoot for the season-ending HJGT Tour Championship in December.

"I want to keep my game up and not slack off because I want to go to college being ready and have an impact right away on the team," Vilcheck said. "There will be stiff competition there, but I feel like I can go in and qualify and make an impact on the team because I've really been working hard this offseason and this summer to get ready."

The opportunity to make an immediate impact was among Vilcheck's reasons for picking Louisana Tech, as was second-year head coach Jeff Parks' ambitious goal of building the Bulldogs into a prominent program.

That mind-set meshes nicely with Vilcheck's own ambitious outlook.

"I have some lofty goals for my first year in college golf," Vilcheck said. "I want to be an all-conference player my freshman year, and I want to take our team to the regionals and hopefully make it to the tournament."

Name: Chandler Vilcheck

High school: Hilton Head Christian Academy

Sport: Golf

High school coach: Doug Langhals

College: Louisiana Tech

Probable major: Business

About Louisiana Tech: In only his second season as head coach after five years as an assistant, coach Jeff Parks has the Bulldogs ranked 81st in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, their highest ranking in the past two decades. Louisiana Tech uses Squire Creek Country Club, twice named the top course in Louisiana, as its home course.

Why Louisiana Tech?: "The coach is really involved with the players, and I think he could take me to the next level (the PGA Tour). He is involved in every aspect of the game -- mentally, physically and structurally, in terms of your swing," Vilcheck said.

Other schools that offered scholarships: Wake Forest, Furman

Other high school sports played: Football, basketball

Accolades: All-state, all-region, won Hurricane Junior Golf Tour winter and fall championships, invited to 2009 and 2010 Jones Cup Invitational.