©2012 NPT PHOTO BY SETH BUTLER
Cocke County High School senior golfer Cassidy Gibson (front, second from right) recently declared her intentions to play collegiately at Milligan College. Joining her in a signing ceremony were, at front, sister Julia, mother Sheila, Gibson, and father Tony. At rear are Milligan College golf coach Tony Wallingford, CCHS athletic director Patrick O'Neil, CCHS golf coach Boddie Bible, grandmother Betty Frazier, grandmother Gladys Gibson and former CCHS golf coach Blake Briggs.
|Published: 7:59 AM, 11/01/2012
||Last updated: 8:00 AM, 11/01/2012
Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
NEWPORT-After wading through multiple scholarship offers to
continue her golf career, Cocke County High School senior Cassidy Gibson finally has her
Gibson chose Milligan College, of Elizabethton, as her selection to play collegiate
golf for over the course of the next four years. Milligan won out for the services of Gibson over a
handful of other schools.
While the choice for Gibson was stressful, she said that the
comfort level she felt with Milligan golf coach Tony Wallingford was one of the top factors into her
"Being able to have as many offers as I did made it a really hard decision," Gibson
said. "A lot of the coaches just kind of gave me an offer and left it up to me to contact him, but
coach (Wallingford) was very interactive with me.
"He would call me multiple times a week to
ask how I was and to come watch me a few times," Gibson said. "He just acted like he was a really
good coach and he really made an impression on me."
Academics also played a role in Gibson's
decision. She plans to major in sociology and criminal justice at Milligan College, which was
another factor in her decision. In addition to being a top golfer,
Gibson is also a top
student at Cocke County High School, where she is active in its award-winning
Navy Junior ROTC
program. Gibson is a staff officer within the ROTC program and has received several leadership
"They were able to give me a really great offer and they have a lot of what I wanted
to do with my life and the majors and everything I want to pursue," Gibson said. "It's a really
prestigious school and a lot of people talked me into going there."
While Wallingford made an
impression on Gibson recruiting her, it was Gibson's play that initially made an impression on
Wallingford. He has followed her career closely since he started the women's golf program at
Milligan in the fall of 2010.
"I saw Cassidy a few years ago, right when we had started our
women's program, when she was at the Tennessee Junior," Wallingford said. "I was very impressed with
her three years ago and I've kept my eye on her and followed her through."
Gibson, who made
her third trip to the TSSAA Class AAA State Tournament in September after claiming the individual
District 2-AAA and Region 1-AAA titles, will be expected to immediately help the Lady Buffs squad
next year. Milligan won the Appalachian Athletic Conference title a season ago
and advanced to
the NAIA National Tournament.
"We're excited to get Cassidy, she's a blue-chipper,"
Wallingford said. "We're looking for her to come in and make an immediate impact on our
Gibson was a big part of the Milligan recruiting class, which will be instrumental in
the program's future successes.
"We won the conference, region and advanced to the national
tournament last year and were ranked in the top 50 among 149 NAIA schools according to GolfStat,"
Wallingford said. "We're getting more and more competitive and this was a big class for us in our
"It was very important for us to move up our competitive level and no better way
to start than with Cassidy," Wallingford said.
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