Jesse (seated, from left) and Marci Batsakis, and golf coaches Carol Wilson (standing, left) and Ken Malnar attend a ceremony at which Jesse signed a commitment to play golf at Lincoln College. | Supplied photo
Updated: March 18, 2013 6:13AM
Greetings, fellow Oak Lawnians!
Congratulations to Jesse Batsakis, who received a golf scholarship from Lincoln College in Lincoln, Ill. Jesse, 18, is a senior at Mount Assisi Academy in Lemont, where she has been recognized not only as the top golfer all four years but also earned all-conference honors and was voted Athletics 2000 player of the month for October 2012. Prior to high school, Jesse played golf for Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School.
Jesse credits her godfather, Jason Clute, for introducing her to golf when she was 4.
“My godfather gave me golf clubs for my Christmas present, and I hit balls in the snow on Christmas morning,” she said, adding that she got serious about golf when she was in sixth grade.
Marci Batsakis, Jesse’s mother, praised Mount Assisi’s golf coach, Ken Malnar, saying that he “really taught Jesse the rules of the game and how to be effective when she swings.”
One of the things that Jesse likes best about golf is that it is an individual sport but you’re also part of a team. Jesse and her teammates hone their golf skills at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, which is Mount Assisi’s home course.
On Feb. 1, Carol Wilson, the women’s golf coach at Lincoln College, visited Mount Assisi for Jesse’s formal signing of her national letter of intent. Malnar and her teammates were present for the signing ceremony. There was also a cake inscribed with “Go Lady Lynx” (Lincoln College’s nickname) for the celebration.
Golf seems to run in Jesse’s family. She has three cousins who are Evans Scholars, getting scholarships for being top caddies who meet high academic standards. Her grandmother, Lee Schneider, started golfing when she was in her 40s and got a hole-in-one at 55. Jesse’s hoping to get a hole-in-one before she turns 50.
Her favorite golfers are Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler. Aside from her love of golf, she also loves her dog, Buddy. She plans to golf professionally but also plans to pursue a career in sound engineering or broadcasting at Lincoln College.
Marci and Nick, Jesse’s parents, and her sister, Lee, 21, are proud of Jesse’s accomplishments.
“She’s been the No. 1 golfer since her freshman year and has developed into the leader and captain of the golf team,” her mom said.
Congratulations to Jesse, her family and her coaches at Mount Assisi on a job well done!
Here are this week’s celebrity birthdays: Sara and Frank Rybicki wish their son, Gavin, a happy 6th birthday. Happy 8th to Lorna Suchy from her parents and grandparents. Sandy and Dave Wills send birthday wishes to their grandchildren — Trevor Guagenti and Jessica Smith, who are both turning 10; Brooke Wills, who will be 12; and Tyler Guagenti, who’s turning 13. Grace Chafee’s grandparents wish her a happy 11th birthday.
Happy 12th birthday to Michael Cupicciotti from his parents and brother, Nicholas, and proud grandparents. Joshua Wood’s grandparents wish him a happy 13th. Birthday wishes go out to Lauren Misner, who’s turning 17, and to her sister, Rebecca, who’s becoming 20, from their parents, grandmothers Lois and Jackie and Uncle Tom.
Happy 20th birthday to John Sasala from his parents and sister Michelle.
Happy 26th birthday to T.J. Budka from his family. A happy 37th to Kevin Carlsen from his mom, Dawn, Thelma and Louise. Happy birthday to Gina Iacoponi from Baby, her family and friends. Sotiri Grimanis sends his love to his wife, Judy, on her birthday.
Happy birthday to Carrie Smith from Jerry, Kristan and the family critters. Happy birthday to Arlene “Reenie” Powell from Dave Gajda (“the polka man”) and her friends.
Happy birthday to Bob Belin from his wife Laurie, their children and grandchildren.
Congratulations to Deborah and Kevin Michicich on the birth of their daughter, Anna Jane, on Dec. 13 at 5:32 a.m. (8 lbs., 1 oz). Their families and Anna’s brother, Sam, send baby Anna all their love.
Wedding anniversary wishes to Joe and Lorraine McGuire from their family and friends, and to Jim and Terry Simon, who are celebrating their 45th anniversary, from their family and friends.
Keep your fellow Oak Lawnians informed about birthdays, special events or special “stuff” going on with your family or within the community. Call me at (708) 899-9544.
Until next time...