By DOUG DONNELLY
When Connor Lenhart was a freshman in high school, Whiteford didn’t have a golf team. Now, four years later, he’s taking his game to the collegiate level.
Lenhart signed Friday to golf next year at Bethany College in Kansas. It’s a NAIA school that he visited this past summer and fell in love with the campus because, he said, it reminds him of Whiteford.
“It’s small and is a lot like Whiteford,” he said. “The campus is state-of-the-art. It’s really small, but very updated. The school has a lot of the programs that I was looking for in a college.”
Lenhart was surrounded by family and friends and the Bethany College golf coach for his signing in the Whiteford High School library.
“It was very flattering to have my family and friends there and that everyone is so supportive of me,” the son of Lyle and Cindy Lenhart said. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Dalton Stevens. He comes to all the signings. He goes all over the country.”
Bethany is in Lindsborg, Kansas, which is not far from Wichita. Golf is a year-round sport in Kansas and the team plays throughout the southwest – from Texas to Oklahoma and other western states. The school has had a golf program since the 1930s and have had dozens of all-conference and all-American golfers over the years. Its team consists of golfers from several different countries. The campus is about a 13-hour drive from Ottawa Lake.
“The team is nationally ranked, plus they travel a lot,” Lenhart said. “I am excited about the possibility of traveling. I’m looking forward to it.”
Before he heads off to college, Lenhart has one more year of high school golf. He was All-State for the second consecutive season last year.
He said he owes a lot to his family, who started him golfing at the age of 13.
“My grandfather was good,” he said. “He had the opportunity to golf in some tournaments. He was very successful. He taught me how to play. And, my mom basically started the golf program back up at Whiteford when I was a freshman. We had eight kids out. We have 16 signed up for this coming season. It’s great how its grown.”