If Rend Lake College Head Men’s Golf Coach Dave Smith is able to sign another player or two of the caliber of Jeremy Fleetwood, the team should be able to play for top honors at nationals.
On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Fleetwood, a Benton product, signed on to play for RLC this fall. He joins friends Nate Sanders and Greg Stewart on Smith’s team. Fleetwood played three years of high school golf with the duo, and said he looks forward to reuniting with them at the college level.
As a testament to Fleetwood’s abilities on the course, Smith said if Fleetwood were a player in a large city such as Chicago, where there is a wider talent pool, “I would still have recruited him down here.” Smith said he is recruiting others now who are on par with Fleetwood, so he should be able to put together a very talented squad.
“I’m glad to be playing for Coach Smith,” Fleetwood said. He said he believes his strengths lie in his long game, such as tee shots and long irons to the green.
Scott Simpson, Head Golf Coach at Benton Consolidated High School, said simply that Fleetwood “is the best player to come through Benton High School. He’s got the numbers to back it up.” Simpson said every time Fleetwood tees up, he has the potential to shoot low scores.
“I think he’s only going to get better,” said Simpson. “He’s been the best, there’s no question about it. He wants to play.”
During his high school career, Fleetwood earned several honors. As a freshman, he ended up in a three-way tie for first in the conference and took second in a playoff with a score of 75. In his sophomore season, he was a Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference medalist and was named to the Southern Illinois Coaches Association All-South Team, an honor he would repeat for the next two years.
The following year, Fleetwood tied the nine-hole school record of 31 twice and set an 18-hole school record of 67 at Union County Country Club. He was an Illinois High School Association Regional medalist with a 71 at Gambit Golf Course and tied for 21st in the IHSA State Finals with a two-round score of 157. He helped his team to a second-place finish and set a school record for a low average for a season at 37.375.
In 2005, Fleetwood’s senior year, he again set a new 18-hole school record at Gambit by shooting a 66. He was a medalist at the Vienna Invitational and an IHSA Regional medalist after shooting a 73 at Governor’s Run Golf Course. He again set a school record for low average for a season with a 36.69, and set a school record for a low career average at 37.86.
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