Jessica Rudd, a 2015 Yosemite High graduate, has been named the Reedley College female Scholar Athlete of the Year. Rudd, a sophomore, was a member of the Tigers women’s golf team the past two seasons.
The awards were presented during the 21st Annual Kiwanis Torch of Excellence Banquet held May 1 at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building.
The event recognized scholar athletes from Reedley College, Fresno City College, and Clovis Community college for exceptional academic performance.
“As much as I love golf, I know it’s important to also work hard in the classroom and keep my grades up,” Rudd said. “I was honored and proud to receive this award.”
Rudd, who carried a 3.2 GPA through her two years at Reedley, was Reedley’s No. 2 player her freshman year and the No. 1 player this past season that ran from September through early December.
Her efforts on the golf course under Coach Scott Stark have earned her a partial scholarship to Chico State, where she will major in business in the fall, and play for Coach Jay Berkowitz on on the women’s golf team.
During her first year at Reedley, the Tigers won the Central Valley Conference title, beating Fresno City College by seven strokes, and went on to win the Northern California Championship by 16 strokes. She placed fourth in the championship tournament earning her All Northern California honors.
The team then advanced to the junior college State Championship Tournament, placing third, with Rudd finishing in the top half of players.
In her sophomore year, the team tied for first place in the CVC with Fresno City College. The team again advanced to the Nor Cal Championship Tournament. Rudd qualified for the State Tournament, and after struggling on her first day, came back the second day to again finish in the upper half of the field.
Rudd played for Rusty Oetinger for four years at Yosemite High School, winning four consecutive NSL titles before going to Reedley.
“I have followed Jessica in junior golf and we were very fortunate to get her coming out of Yosemite High,” said Scott. “When she committed to us, I knew I had a real good player. She is a terrific competitor and was always trying to play better week after week to help her team.”
Scott said Rudd was also very dependable, playing 42 rounds of golf during her two years at Reedley, more than any other player since the school started women’s golf in 2010.
“I enjoyed my time at Reedley and playing for Coach Stark, who helped improve my game, and supported me on and off the golf course” Rudd said. “I’m looking forward to playing at Chico State and continuing my education.”
In addition to Oetinger and Stark, Rudd said her grandfather, Bob Rudd, was a great motivator for her.
“He’s motivated me to push myself to always be the best I can be,” Rudd said. “He always had a great positive influence on me as a golfer and as a person, and for that I thank him indefinitely.”