PILOT MOUNTAIN — Brock Jessup always planned on continuing his education at Surry Community College in the fall, but now the senior from East Surry will also get to continue his golfing career with the local Knights.
Jessup signed his letter of intent to play golf at SCC on April 24. He committed to the Coach Tom Pendergraft earlier that month, and Jessup is elated with this chance that he wasn’t quite sure would ever arrive.
“I knew that as a senior in high school that it was hard to follow what you want to do in college,” Jessup said. “Your dream is to keep playing and continuing whatever your sport is, but when (Pendergraft) gave me the opportunity to come play golf, I knew this was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.”
Not only will Jessup be on the Knights’ golf team, he was the 2016 recipient of the annual $1,500 Chatham Scholarship. Jessup earned this honor based on his hard work, dedication to golf, sportsmanship and grades in the classroom.
“It was really neat, because I called him and I left him a message five minutes later to see if he was still interested in me just coming to play for him,” Jessup said. “Then I had a message from him, and that’s when he offered me the scholarship. I was just like, wow. I couldn’t really believe it.”
Jessup first started receiving interest from SCC back in March. After playing in a non-conference match for the Cardinals, Knights assistant coach Joe Denny invited Jessup to come play in a golf tournament for high school seniors hosted by SCC.
He played well at the event, and received his offer to come join the Knights immediately after.
“It was a little nerve-wracking at the beginning,” Jessup said. “But the coaches had already seen me play a couple matches, so I just told myself to go out there relaxed and to have fun.”
Jessup’s passion for golf started to form when he was 11 years old, hitting the driving range with his dad and grandfather. He was a natural right away, and he started for the East Surry golf team throughout all four years of his high school career.
As a sophomore in 2014, Jessup was a member of East Surry’s runner-up finish at the NCHSAA 1A team state championship. He did come home with some hardware that season, winning the sportsmanship award at the state golf tournament at the Whispering Pines Country Club.
This year, Jessup was the only senior on an East Surry team that finished third in the Northwest Conference. He enjoyed his time as the elder leader of the Cardinals in 2016, helping some of the younger players come along.
He considers his strengths on the golf course to be his driving off the tee and his ability to land quality approach shots, but Jessup already knows what he needs to work on when he arrives at SCC this fall.
“I’m going to strive to improve my short game,” Jessup said. “I need to work on my chipping and putting, and get that where it needs to be.”
As a senior at East Surry, Jessup took his fair share of carpentry classes, and will focus his education at SCC on earning a degree in construction management.
However, what Jessup might be most looking forward to when he becomes a Knight is getting to play with some of his local rivals from the past four years. Jessup joins Mount Airy’s Christopher Dorsett, North Surry’s Taylor Solomon and Surry Central’s Garrett Fletcher in the SCC 2016 golf signing class.
“That’s going to be really cool,” Jessup said. “Christopher and I have been competing against each other since seventh grade, so it’s going to be fun calling those guys my teammates rather than competing with them.”
Reach Jackson at 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16