His statement summed up him as a person. Selfless, quiet, determined and thankful. It was a statement he had to say; had he not, he may have had it on his mind during his 36-hole state championship tournament round on Friday and Saturday. But he got out off of his chest and he can now go to Columbus focused on the task at hand.
It is his first time on the big stage, a feat that should be all about Jimmy Adelman. A time when he is allowed to be selfish and bask in the glory of making it. But he wouldn’t let an opportunity like this change him. He stuck to his roots and remembered how he was raised and what got him here.
“Can I say one more thing?,” Adelman asked.
It isn’t normal to have a high school athlete want to keep talking during an interview. Most of the time, reporters struggle to get athletes to really say anything at all. But Adelman had to add one more thing to an already three minute interview.
“I have been working on my swing a lot with Dave Morgan and my former coach Matt Webb and my current coach John Rossman,” Adelman said. “Those people along with my parents, Steve and Karen Adelman, have pushed me really hard and I have to say thank you to them. They have all pushed me to get where I am today and I am very thankful for them.”
It was a comment that took the spotlight off of himself and gave it to the people most important in his life. Just the way Jimmy wants it.
But Friday and Saturday is about Adelman. With a 78 at Stone Ridge Golf Course during last weeks Division III district golf tournament, Adelmen finished in a tie for third place among golfers not advancing through the Top 4 teams. In the tournament, the Top 4 individuals also advanced and with a tie for third, Adelman was guaranteed a spot.
Adelman makes the trip to Northstar Golf Club in Sunbury on Thursday morning for a practice round followed by 18 holes on Friday and another 18 on Saturday.
“The experience is going to be amazing,” Adelman said. “My goal is to play college golf so this is probably the closest tournament to that strict rule, great competition atmosphere. It is pretty exciting. I get to spend time with my dad and coach Rossman.”
“It is a big accomplishment for him and our program,” St. Paul coach John Rossman said. “This was one of Jimmy’s goals. As time went on, we gained confidence with our team and to only be four shots out for the big dance as a team, I am very proud of them.”
Northstar is a course Adelmen will be playing for the first time during his practice round though he has already heard rumors and tips on how to navigate it.
“I have never played it,” Adelman said. “Thursday will be the first time. I have heard there are some blind tee shots so figuring out where to hit the ball off of the tee is my biggest concern. I have struggled with my irons lately so I want to get those down too. Once I get all of that figured out, I will be pretty confident.”
The Ohio Northern hopeful and future Pharmacy major admits golf has been a huge part of his life since he was a youngster. It is that love and dedication to the game that led him to a shot at playing for an individual state title. Though he didn’t really start picking up the game regularly until he was about to play in high school, a summer full of golf before his freshman year could be the starting point of a special career.
“I have been golfing a little bit since I was six,” Adelman said. “But the summer before my freshman year, I really started playing a lot. My parents would actually drop me off on their way to work at 7:30 a.m. and I would either get picked up around noon on their lunch or four when they got off. I would be out here all day and I loved it. I started playing because my grandpa and dad played and I have loved it ever since.”
As the perfect caregiver, the golf course has been home for Adelman and all of those rounds on the links playing alone and working on his craft has turned him into the lead-by-example captain for the St. Paul golf team.
“I used to play for coach (John) Livengood and he has been my mentor for most of my adult life,” Rossman said. “One of his biggest things is preparation and his favorite quote is, “If I had 24 hours to chop down a tree, I will spend 23 hours sharpening my axe.” The fits Jimmy to a tee. It is about preparation for him and I think that shows in his numbers and his consistency. He prepares for success.
“He is not a huge vocal leader but he leads through actions. That speaks louder than words most of the time. It is so satisfying as a coach to see a kid that prepares that much get recognized for it at the end of the year.”
Adelman has carried a 37.5 average through the entire year and was a medalist in 12 matches this season. His worst round of the year came via an 80 at Valley View during the sectional tournament in which the Flyers took third to advance to last week’s district. He responded with his 78.
Last season, Adelman missed advancing to state by three strokes thanks to a 9 on the 18th hole at Stone Ridge. This year, he didn’t let that mental blockade stop him and scored well on the hole and punched his ticket to Columbus.
The trip has Adelman experiencing some jitters, but he admits those will disappear once the round gets started.
“I am definitely going to be nervous,” Adelman added. “But my goal is to take it one shot at a time. I want to play confident and play my game and see where it gets me.”
Rossman admits Thursday will be a luxury of a day.
“We are going down Thursday and that will be a huge day for us to study the course and put together a gameplan,” Rossman said. “We understand it is a different beast. We are going to try to keep things the same, but our approach may be a little more aggressive. We will go for it a little more down there and see where the cards fall.”