Asked about a high school athletic highlight, a big grin spread across Ali Burkholder’s face.
“Definitely making the (golf) sectional this year,” said Burkholder, who finished 35th at the sectional at the Sedalia Country Club. In her first trip to the high school golf post-season, Burkholder shot a 116 and missed the state-qualifying cut by 23 stokes.
“My goal next season is to make the state tournament,” said the 17-year Smith-Cotton junior, a three-time All West Central Conference selection during her high school golf career.
Not only is she a good golfer, Burkholder is an excellent student. She has a 10.83 grade-point average on an 11 scale. She has not taken the ACT yet and could not come up with her academic ranking in her junior class.
She has not determined a college choice or major yet.
“I would like to go somewhere in Missouri. I am thinking about MU. I want to go into something dealing with children, maybe teaching like my Mom. I probably won’t do any sports, at least not right off.”
Burkholder is taking weighted courses Pre Calculus, Honors English and Honors History.
“School is more important (than athletics),” said Burkholder. “Grades will take you farther in life. Sports are just something fun to do.”
Besides the golf, swimming and soccer teams at S-C, Burkholder is a member of the National Honor Society and is on the Executive Board of the Student Council and serves with the Community Cafe.
Burkholder has played soccer, golf and swam since she was very young.
“I played soccer in the Paul Klover League and on traveling teams for eight years (Sedalia Select and Futura of Kansas City) and have played one year at S-C. I had a partially torn ACL and a torn meniscus and a fracture in my right knee, so I missed my sophomore year after surgery.”
Burkholder said she didn’t start taking golf seriously until her freshman year because she got to practice more and learned the game.
In swimming, she swims the 100 butterfly, the 200 IM and a pair of relays. She can also step in wherever Coach Jerry Tankersley needs her. She grew up swimming with the Bandits for the late, great Joe Arbisi.
Burkholder said she doesn’t have much time for hobbies, since she is in three sports, going from school to practices. She does enjoy doing volunteer work and spending time with friends and family.
Burkholder has an older brother, Jacob, 21 and a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia and a two-time state qualifier during his high school career at S-C.
She is the daughter of Kelly (1979 S-C grad) and Kent (1977 S–C grad) Burkholder, Sedalia.