Golf

MH’s Luke Jackson to play golf for Scots

Luke Jackson was already a multi-sport star when he took the court as a freshman starter on the varsity basketball team at Mountain Home High School.

Jackson was skilled in both basketball and baseball, but after enduring several knee surgeries, his four-year journey to college golf is an interesting one to say the least.

Jackson, along with Kenzie Collins, a member of the Lady Bomber golf team, signed a National Letter of Intent on Thursday to play golf at Lyon College in Batesville.

“It’s been a rollercoaster, that’s for sure,” Jackson said. “I just knew I had to trust in God and he would lead me in the right direction. I learned to appreciate every second I was on the court or field or course. Being out there is a privilege, and a lot of us take it for granted until it’s taken away from us.”

Jackson’s first injury came in the fall semester of his sophomore year when he tore his ACL. Then came the infection.

“Really that’s the one that got me pretty good,” he said, “because it brought on everything else. I had to get a pattelar tendon reattached, and I had a screw put in my kneecap. I was starting to get pretty fast again. It was like a nail in the end of a board, and my kneecap just broke around it.”

Jackson was looking forward to finally being able to play basketball his senior year, but was hit with another injury.

“After that, I had a clean-out, and when I came back this year to play basketball, I was overcompensating too much on my right knee, that I had some cartilage damage and a torn meniscus in that one,” he said. “It was kind of wake-up call that maybe basketball wasn’t the one for me.”

Jackson was able to play more golf than baseball and basketball through high school, and he saw gradual improvement on the course.

“I heard about him around a year ago,” Lyon College golf coach Travis Lauterbach said. “We watched him as he progressed. With his situation, we were kind of unsure what he was going to do about college, so once he started leaning toward golf, a lot of the people I know up here said he would be a good one.

“With him being such a good athlete in other sports, I’m always excited to get players like that,” he continued. “It brings a little more confidence to the table for them. Injury-wise, he didn’t have the greatest luck throughout his high school career, but now that he’s pinpointed golf, we’re hoping he’ll see a lot of improvement in his game.”

Now that Jackson can specialize in one sport, he believes the sky is the limit for his golf game.

“I think putting all my time into one thing, I’ll be able to make way bigger jumps,” he said. “Honestly, I’ve never put much time into golf. I just put a baseball swing on a golf ball. I’m excited to see what I can learn.”

Jackson feels Lyon is the perfect fit for him.

“I visited the campus, and it’s really nice,” he said. “Academically, it’s a perfect fit, and the coach is very knowledgeable.”

Mountain Home golf coach Dell Leonard was excited that two of his seniors were able to sign letters on the same day.

“This is all because of volunteers like Lou Wood, Tom Czanstkowski, Todd Dunnaway, and there’s been other people at Big Creek who have stepped in and helped,” Leonard said. “The people it takes to run state tournaments and help in so many capacities, Luke and Kenzie are products of all of that. It’s special to see what we got to see today.”

 



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