BROOMFIELD — Jennifer Kupcho has set the bar pretty darn high at Jefferson Academy.
Just three years into the program’s existence, the Jaguars state golf champion has reached unprecedented heights, both on the high school scene as well as statewide, that will be tough to match.
On Monday morning in the school’s gymnasium and in front of nearly 200 students and faculty, Kupcho and teammate Mariah Ehrman were each rewarded for their years of hard work on the golf course and in the classroom when they signed their national letters of intent.
Kupcho finally made it official with Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Ehrman gave her commitment to Colorado Mesa University.
“It’s exciting to finally get it over with,” said Kupcho, who actually gave her verbal commitment to the Demon Deacons in January. “To finally have it over and know that I am going to college, it’s exciting.”
Kupcho, who will pursue a degree in business, was attracted to Wake Forest after meeting the coaching staff of Dianne Dailey (head coach), Kevin Diaz (assistant coach) and his wife and LPGA player Laura Diaz.
“I really love the coaches and the climate may be the biggest thing,” said Kupcho, whose career aspirations are to be able to take her game to the LPGA Tour and she believes that staff can help her make that happen.
“To get to know what is different with the tour and where I am playing right now is good to know, and they have that experience.”
It’s hard to fathom that Kupcho’s game could get any better than it is right now, especially coming off a spring and summer that saw her collect a state championship as well as being runner-up and the low-amateur at the Colorado Women’s Open — an event she led after the first round.
“Just getting that college experience and having that degree under your wing in case you can’t make it professionally, you have that back up,” she said. “And getting my game to the best it can be. There are definitely a lot of open holes I have in my game right now that I can improve on.”
On Sunday at Denver’s Pinehurst Country Club, Kupcho will add to her list of accomplishments when she becomes the first player in state history to named both the CWGA Player of the Year and Junior Player of the Year in the same season.
For Ehrman, the chance to take her game to the next level is something that she probably didn’t even dream of when she took up the game just before entering high school.
And she understands that she will be forever linked to Kupcho and as far is she is concerned, that is just fine.
“She has pushed me so much to become a much better player,” said Ehrman, who on the advice of JA coach Mike Kupcho sought out the advice of swing coach Ed Oldham, the head professional at The Ranch.
“But just having that competition and having her push me to grow and become a better golfer, she’s been really prominent in my game.”
The future is bright for Ehrman, whose scoring average has gone down dramatically over her time in high school and the chance to make the traveling team with the Mavericks right away is a distinct possibility.
“Especially this next summer, with a lot of dedication and hard work that I can just keep on improving,” she said. “The coach at Mesa realizes that too and my goal is to work harder so I can keep improving and work my way up on my new team.”
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