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Dillon excited for opportunity at tradition-rich Central Missouri

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

On Friday, Louisburg senior Calvin Dillon signed his letter of intent to play golf at the University of Central Missouri. Dillon is a 3-time state medalist and a 2-time Frontier League champion.

As Calvin Dillon walked into room 113 at Louisburg High School, he received a loud applause from several of his friends as it he sat down at the table.

Dillon doesn’t usually hear that loud of a roar on the golf course – because well – that sort of thing is frowned upon among his fellow golfers. The ovation was well deserved, however.

After playing just three full seasons of high school golf, the Louisburg senior has already become the most decorated golfer in school history and that led him to the jam-packed room in 113.

On Friday, Dillon made it official as he signed his letter of intent to play golf at the University of Central Missouri, a Division II program in Warrensburg, Mo.

“I am ready,” Dillon said. “It is really exciting and I am thankful I was able to make it official and I can focus on getting to work for next year. I wanted to sign early so I could play in the spring without any pressure and just go out there and play golf. I think that will definitely be an advantage for me going into the spring and summer. It definitely takes a lot of pressure off.”

Dillon joins a Central Missouri program that has a lot of tradition in the MIAA. Under head coach Tim Poe, the Mules have earned 14 MIAA Championships and have made 27 straight NCAA postseason appearances.

Poe has been named the MIAA Coach of the Year 14 times as was recently inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame. He coached the 2015 NCAA Division II individual national champion and helped the Mules to a second place finish in 2010.

“The coach at Central Missouri is really great,” Dillon said. “Coach Poe has been there for 30-some years and he is veteran. He has had multiple guys turn pro and he is very experienced. I really connected with him on my visit and I think Central Missouri has a very good program. They are more than likely going to be in the postseason every year and that was another big factor for me. I want to compete for a national title.”

Although he eventually found his future home, the decision wasn’t always an easy for one Dillon as he took his time and visited several programs before deciding on a final two.

Louisburg’s Calvin Dillon made it official last Friday during a signing day ceremony at LHS as he signed with Central Missouri. Seated next to Calvin are his parents Jim and Karen Dillon. Standing (from left) Louisburg assistant golf coach Barry O’Brien, Calvin’s sister Katie and Louisburg head coach Brian Burns.

“It was definitely tough,” Dillon said. “We visited five or six schools and then I narrowed it down to three and then to my top two. Those couple weeks were a little stressful, but it was a good stress to have and weighing the pros and cons. It was between Central Missouri and Drake University, and when it came down to it, Central Missouri was just the place for me.”

Dillon has had a memorable career as a Wildcat through his first three seasons. He has earned a Class 4A state medal each of the last three years and has won 17 of the 28 tournaments he has played in.

He won the regional title this past May and is a two-time Frontier League champion. This past summer, Dillon won the Kansas City Junior Match Play Championship and had a top-10 finish at the Midwest Junior Championship.

“The competition is great,” he said. “Kansas has some good golf and I think it helps me get better by playing in the state tournaments and ones over the summer as well. I think the KGA does a great job and put on some really good tournaments and there is a lot of good competition out there. It is a lot of fun.”

However, it all started with his father Jim, who introduced Calvin to the game of golf at an early age and the countless hours improving his game has certainly paid off.

“Dad put a club in my hand early and we would just hit it around the yard,” Calvin said. “We never really made a distinct decision that I was going to play college golf. I think it was just kind of assumed that I would or that I wanted to. It is a good feeling to officially sign and I’m ready to play at the next level.”

So when Friday finally arrived, Dillon walked into 113 and saw a lot of familiar faces join him on his special day as he took the next step on his golf journey.

“It was nice to have all my friends here for this,” he said. “It was really awesome to see and I am thankful for every one of them. It was great to have them here supporting me.”

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