Madison-Plains standout Kaylin Dill hasn’t really played a round of competitive golf without her family there watching.
Whether it was a dual-meet tournament at Locust Hills, a district tournament on Columbus’ eastside or the state championship tournament on the Gray Course at Ohio State University, they were there.
They’ll get a chance to continue the tradition next year after Dill signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her athletic career, playing golf at Ohio Dominican University, a NCAA Division II school located in Columbus.
“Being close to home was a main thing for me,” Dill said. “I didn’t want to go to a place too far off. I would go if I had to, but I didn’t want to be that far away. Being close to my family was really important to me, they’ve been to every single match. It was really important to be close to them so they could watch me play.”
Dill thought she was headed to Otterbein University, D-III school in Westerville, before ODU came in with a scholarship offer late in the process.
“Otterbein is the one I thought I was going to go to but ODU came out of nowhere, they came in late,” she said. “The campus, I really loved it. I had lunch with the team and they were like my high school team, it made me feel at home. Also my best friend is going there, everything just feels right.”
Dill will be joining teammate and friend Bailey Stephens on ODU’s squad this fall. The pair helped take the Golden Eagles golf program to new heights, winning multiple league championships and making the state championship tournament for the first time in school history this past fall.
“It’s an amazing feeling, knowing that all your hard worked has paid off,” Dill said. “It’s crazy to think about how far we’ve come. As freshman we always knew the state tournament was a goal in the back of our minds, but to finally reach it was amazing. You have to pinch me to make sure it’s real. It’s a crazy feeling to know you brought something up from nothing.”
Dill said she started thinking about possibly playing golf in college as early as that freshman season at Plains.
“My freshman year I think it was, when I was playing in the No. 1 position and holding my own and competing with seniors,” she said. “That’s when I started to think that if I could keep getting better.
“It takes a lot of dedication, a lot of days when you don’t want to go play, but you have to go play. You don’t have a choice it’s either do it or don’t. It’s a long process, it’s very strenuous, but this makes it all worth it.”
Chris Miles can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.