Perry Golfer Christopherson’s Legacy Coming To The Fore - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Perry Golfer Christopherson’s Legacy Coming To The Fore

November 6th, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Perry Golfer Christopherson’s Legacy Coming To The Fore
Sports and Recreation

By Zach Alvira

Sports Editor

For as long as he can remember, golf has been a part of Perry High senior Caden Christopherson’s life.

He began learning the game after his father, Eric, retired from professional baseball and began working at a golf course in Chandler.

“He got pretty good, and when he was able to, he put a club in my hands and started teaching me,” Caden said. “He taught me all throughout my junior career and I really began to love the game.”

Caden was just 4 when he began playing, and 13 years later has become the top-ranked prep golfer in the state.

This past summer he won the Arizona Junior State Championship, which featured some of the best golfers he has played.

Caden was invited to the Junior Invitational, which brought 10 golfers from Arizona to compete against junior golf clubs in Scotland.

“We basically played a round every day against different golf clubs all around Scotland,” Christopherson said. “It was awesome. It was an experience. I’ll never forget it.”

His success in the summer transitioned to Perry’s golf season. Christopherson was the individual champion at the Dobson Classic and Chandler City Shootout.

Christopherson was the favorite to capture the singles state title earlier this week in Tucson, but he remained focused on winning the team championship.

“It would be great if I won state individually but I would be happier to win as a team,” Christopherson said. “We are all trying to work together in the end.”

Christopherson gained attention from Division I college programs. He earned his first scholarship offer from Pacific as a junior. He had been talking to other schools and attended camps at Texas and Texas A&M. Large schools didn’t excite Christopherson.

“Caden is such a laid back, easy-going kid,” said LaLena Christopherson, Caden’s mother. “He just wants to be able to play golf and relax. He didn’t find the idea of a large campus and school intriguing. He’s the type who would rather get to know his professors in smaller classes.”

It wasn’t until this past spring that a school he had heard a lot of positives about finally started to express interest in him.

Members of the coaching staff from Texas Christian University contacted Caden’s golf coach, Matt Trimble, and wanted to watch him play. After seeing his talent, they extended an offer to come visit the campus on an unofficial visit. It’s there that Caden and his parents fell in love with everything TCU had to offer.

“The facility is amazing and I just loved how all of the coaches and players really come together,” Caden said. “TCU wanted me to respond quickly because they knew I would probably get other offers over the summer and I felt like I shouldn’t wait on it.

“The opportunity was there and I decided to pull the trigger.”

Caden committed to TCU on April 27.

Along with the facilities, coaching staff and atmosphere, TCU also offered Caden an opportunity to continue doing something he does almost daily at his home in Chandler: fish.

“One of the courses by TCU has a bunch of fishing holes on it so he can bring his pole and catch bass,” LaLena said. “We live by a bunch of lakes and if he isn’t playing ping pong with his friends or golf or baseball, he is catching fish. TCU was just a really good fit.”

Caden’s decision to commit to TCU came with a bit of sacrifice as the second semester quickly approaches.

He remains up in the air as to whether or not he will play baseball for the Pumas this spring. Like golf, baseball seemed to come naturally to him, likely due to his father’s past. After he committed for golf, Caden started to rethink whether he wanted to play baseball again, even though he has full support from the TCU coaching staff to do so.

“I’ve spent so much time thinking about it and all of the pros and cons,” Caden said. “I’m still undecided. For me, I think it will be a thing where I either want to play or I don’t when baseball season comes up.”

Caden believes his decision to play or not will take place over winter break in December. If he does, there’s no question the Pumas would be happy to have him on the mound.

Last season, Caden struck out 21 batters in 30 innings and posted a 4.43 ERA.

Caden is confident that he can have the same impact, if not better, for the Pumas this season. If he decides not to take the mound again, he hopes his legacy of hard work will spread to the golf and baseball programs at Perry.

“It’s high school and you want to have fun but I think you have to work hard, too,” Caden said. “I’ve always put my head down and got the work done.

“I think that’s the legacy I would like to leave.”

East Valley prep golfers honored by JGAA

The Junior Golf Association of Arizona announced the 2018 Sportsmanship and Player of the Year Awards on Oct. 21.

The awards are spread throughout five prep golf divisions, with six East Valley golfers receiving recognition for the 2018 season.

Meghan Singh of Mesa was awarded the Player of the Year award for girls 15-18, while Kohl Kuebler fro Gilbert was awarded the championship for Sportsmanship of the Year.

Gavin Krist and Breann Brennan, both from Chandler, received the Most Improved Awards, while Lauren Garcia from Gilbert received a Hole-in-One Award for her shot at the Talking Rock Golf Club on hole No. 7.