Gregg Burke, head coach of the University of Rhode Island golf team, added another player to his roster next year after recruit Dawson Jones signed his National Letter of Intent last week.
Jones, a native of Howell, New Jersey, followed in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather, who are graduates of URI. A four-year honor roll student, Jones won Most Valuable Player at Howell High School three times in his career. He was also the Shore Conference Player of the Year in 2014 and was named to the Shore Conference First Team in each of the last three years.
In addition, Jones is the only high school golfer to ever win the Wall Invitational, Monmouth County Championship and Shore Conference Championship in the same year. Other recent accolades of his include the Freehold District High School Championship, the Metropolitan Golf Association Junior Championship and being named to the All-State First Team. All of these accomplishments have come over the course of this year.
“He’s got an undeniable work ethic and he’s just a great kid,” Burke said. “He will prepare for competition as well as anyone on our team and fit in right away.”
With plenty of time before the 2015 fall season begins, Burke said that he expects Jones to be in the starting lineup and play in every event for all four years of college. He also said that Jones reminds him of a combination of a number of players in the current lineup, including sophomore Billy Walthouse, juniors Makenzie Denver, Nick Fairweather and Joe Leavitt and senior Seamus Fennelly.
Next year’s team will consist of at least three players that are sophomores or freshmen with the addition of Jones and the departure of graduating senior Jared Adams. Burke said the team is still recruiting for next year, though, and may be looking for one or two players for next year’s class.
“I have followed Dawson for two and a half years, so I knew from the very first time that I saw him that he was going to be high on our list,” Burke said. “As time went on, he emerged as the guy we really wanted and we were fortunate enough to get him.”
The Rams will enter the spring portion of their schedule beginning on March 19, 2015, when they travel to Northwood University for an exhibition match at the Wanderers Club in Wellington, Florida.