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Adam Derrickson leads successful golf season
By Jeff Febus

  Adam Derrickson is the type of person who likes to be prepared. If his junior season of golf and his academic performance at Calvin are any indication, Derrickson has prepared himself quite nicely for the future.

A native of Muskegon, Derrickson was part of a talent-rich North Muskegon High school boys golf team that captured the boys Class D state championship in 1997. Although not the No. 1 golfer on his team, Derrickson was one of its most consistent performers. More importantly, he finished second academically in his graduating class with the hopes of entering the medical profession someday.

"Calvin had what I was looking for," said Derrickson when asked why he chose Calvin. "I was looking for a Christian college with a strong academic reputation and I also wanted to play golf. When I look back on my decision, I would say that my college choice worked out well."

During his first two years at Calvin, Derrickson put the bulk of his efforts into the classroom, producing a 3.80 gpa. In the meantime, he struggled with maintaining consistency on the golf course, particularly during the fall of his sophomore year.

"Adam is the type of person who needs to be prepared," said Calvin men's golf coach Jim Timmer. "As a sophomore, he was taking a lot of classes with a lot of afternoon labs and that was making it tough for him to get ready to play in golf matches.

"He came into my office and I told him that academics at Calvin are more important than athletics," Timmer continued. "We worked out a schedule where he could play when he was available which was not often during his sophomore year. I later told him that if he wanted to continue to play, he needed to dedicate himself to the game because he would be miserable if he was not prepared to play in a match."

Derrickson decided to take a lighter load of classes this fall while working on his golf game throughout the summer. The result was a sparkling junior campaign that saw him finish fourth in the MIAA individual standings with an average of 79.3 strokes-per-round that landed him a spot on the All-MIAA first team.

Derrickson's strength was his consistency as he fired three sub-80 rounds with his highest score of the year--a round of 82. His best finish came at an MIAA outing hosted by Adrian at the Lenawee Country Club finishing tied for third with a round of 76.

"The difference in Adam's performance from his sophomore year to his junior year was his concentration," said Timmer. "He was a part-time player as a sophomore but this fall, he was able to devote more attention to his golf game. He was not preoccupied when he played and he knew what was expected of him."

Derrickson was one of six Calvin individuals to finish in the top 20 of the MIAA's individual standings as the Knights finished second in the final team standings, marking its best league finish since 1992. The team finish was a bit of surprise as the Knights had graduated three of their top six players from the year before.

"We surprised ourselves a little bit," said Derrickson. "We played in a lot of adverse weather conditions this fall and I think our team benefited from it. We always seemed to play well in poor conditions because we kept a good mental focus."

Derrickson will join the team on its spring trip to South Carolina in March and then prepare for his senior year of MIAA golf next fall.

Despite his individual success this fall, Derrickson keeps his golf game in perspective. "Golf is something I always see myself doing but my main goal is to be a doctor," said Derrickson who hopes to be an orthopedic surgeon someday. "The professors at Calvin do a great job of preparing you for medical school and it is something I am preparing to do the rest of my life."

Derrickson's commitment to the medical profession and to his Christian faith form a wonderful combination according to Timmer. "Adam is a very mature Christian young man," said Timmer. "With his faith and commitment to the medical profession, Adam is the type of person who is preparing to be a kingdom worker his entire life."


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