Derek Johnson - A season to remember

by Claudia Loucks correspondent

Playing golf with his dad is what sparked Derek Johnson’s love of the game.

The GHS senior was on the Boys’ Golf Team that took second place in Regional competition this season and advanced to Sectionals as a team.

Johnson, son of Darrin and Sue Johnson, began playing golf when he was in eighth grade and said, “I had previously played baseball and soccer for my whole life and never touched a golf club, so after one day of hitting golf balls around my grandparents’ back yard, I decided I’d like to try it out.”

Golf is an activity that Johnson plays with his dad and the young man added, “He was the one that taught me how to play and is ultimately to blame for my competitiveness and drive to improve on the course.”

“My goal from the beginning was always to beat my Dad in a nine-hole match, and when I finally was able to do so, that’s when my love for the competitive aspect of the game took off,” Johnson said.

He listed his favorite experiences of the game and said, “My favorite experiences when playing golf easily has to be all of the late summer evenings with my friends out on the course playing matches against each other. Nothing can beat that.”

Being on the GHS Golf Team is also something Johnson said he will remember for the rest of his life, and added, “because I love being able to play to represent Geneseo.”

He said being a senior on the team is completely different from all of the previous three seasons and said the reason being “because we no longer had to anyone to look up to, but instead we were the ones setting the example,” he said. “In the past two seasons, I have found the most success in my golf career and I have been able to contribute to our varsity score in all of the events that we participated in the past two seasons.”

When asked about being a senior in the midst of the current pandemic, Johnson said, “Playing golf this season with the COVID-19 pandemic has been different, but it was still as memorable as the previous seasons. My last year in high school has been far from normal with the pandemic occurring, with remote learning being our school for the majority of the school year so far. It has been different than we are used to, but it has been a change all students have had to go through and the school district has done a good job in handling it in the best way possible to put safety as the top priority.”

Johnson’s future plans are to attend Black Hawk College for two years to earn his basic general college education, and work at Edwards Ready Mix while attending Black Hawk…”I would like to continue playing golf while attending college and I’m hoping I will be able to improve my skills.”

Derek Johnson