CHESTERTON | Just halfway through her high school career, Chesterton golfer Kelly Grassel already has a list of achievements that any rival would hope to attain.
While the medalist honors and tournament victories have piled up over the course of her first two years, it's what Grassel is planning on doing in her junior season that is truly going to be an accomplishment.
Grassel will be raising money for the American Cancer Society and the American Junior Golf Association with every birdie she hits this season.
"Everybody knows someone who has been affected by cancer and I wanted to do something to help," Grassel said. "Both of my grandmas had cancer, so it's something that is very personal to me."
Grassel can accept donations through the AJGA website for the fundraiser which will run from the beginning of August until the beginning of October. For her part, Grassel is happy to have a way to help others through her success on the golf course.
"I'm not going to be doing anything different than I would be doing anyway," Grassel said. "People have been incredibly supportive of me so far and I want to continue to help."
Grassel's fundraiser is just the latest accomplishment in a strong summer that saw the Chesterton junior win the Midwest Junior Players Championship in Wisconsin earlier this month. The victory was Grassel's first on the AJGA tour and marked her fifth top-10 finish of her AJGA career.
"This is my last tournament of the summer and I feel confident about my game because of how I played this week," Grassel said after the victory.
With her success on the summer tours as well as the last two high school seasons, Chesterton coach Dale Hewitt is eager to see what the future holds for Grassel. The Trojans have had a long line of successful golfers in recent years, including Alyse Kotso, Jessica O'Brien and Kristin Kalita. Hewitt thinks that Grassel is in her own class after her first two years of high school.
"She has performed at a little higher standard than anyone we've ever had," Hewitt said. "She is just an all-around player who doesn't have any weaknesses. She doesn't get fazed if she has a bad hole and she is very consistent."