GALION — Galion High School golf standout Bronson Dalenberg is headed to Ohio Valley University to continue his athletic and academic career.
Dalenberg has signed a national letter of intent with the NCAA Division II institution located in Vienna, West Virginia. Ohio Valley is a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
The decision-making process was difficult, Dalenberg said. Other colleges and universities he was considering included Heidelberg and Anderson (Indiana).
“It wasn’t (a decision) that was made overnight,” said Dalenberg, who plans to major in communications at Ohio Valley. “It took a lot of time and effort to get to other colleges and see what other options I had. (Ohio Valley) fit best and I got the best deal, so I can’t pass it up.”
Trying to make college visits in the middle of a worldwide pandemic made the process even more difficult, he said.
“It was super-difficult,” Dalenberg said. “We had visits scheduled, then switched to Zoom calls, phone calls. It was difficult. Campuses are closed down, so it’s very rare to get on one.”
Dalenberg, an honorable mention All-Northwest District performer as a senior, was part of an outstanding Galion boys golf program that has captured four consecutive MOAC championships (four straight undefeated MOAC seasons) and four consecutive trips to the OHSAA state tournament. The Tigers are riding a 53-match undefeated streak in conference play, a streak that began on Sept. 16, 2016.
“It’s unheard of,” Dalenberg said in reference to the success the Tigers golfers have enjoyed. “If you can find a group of kids that’s done it, I’ll be glad to listen, but until then, I don’t think there’s one around.”
Dalenberg finished fourth in the Division II district tournament last October at the Findlay Country Club. He recorded a round of 81.
Galion golf coach Bryce Lehman praised Dalenberg for the commitment he made, both personally and to the team over the past few seasons.
“For Bronson’s part, it’s an actual success story because after his sophomore year, he wasn’t shooting scores that I knew he had the potential of shooting,” Lehman said. “Not only myself, but mom and dad and people close to him had discussions with him. ‘You need to step it up, play in more summer tournaments, practice, make it a good practice.’ That kind of lit a fire under him and the next thing you know, he’s playing in a bunch of tournaments and they get a swing coach for him. He’s playing in bigger tournaments and he’s practicing a lot.
“He was never away from the golf course. Even during early on with COVID, he would go out at 7 o’clock in the morning to Valley View. He’d be out there chipping and putting or get a quick nine (holes) in before he had to log on (for class).”
Dalenberg is the third Galion golfer — joining fellow seniors Matthew McMullen (Ashland) and Spencer Keller (Indiana Tech) — who will be playing collegiate golf next season. That accomplishment is not lost on Lehman.
“It’s incredible,” he said. “To get him and the other two into college golf to play at the next level, that’s amazing in itself, especially from a smaller school like (Galion). … I knew Bronson had the potential to do it. Once he got the mental side (of the game) figured out and not down on himself after a bad shot or two or a bad hole, he became one of those leaders for us. What a luxury to have a kid like that who stuck with it and kept trying to excel and did excel. This is the end result. These three seniors set the precedent.”
The goal of becoming a collegiate golfer was planted when he was in eighth grade, Dalenberg said.
“We all got to see our potential and what we were going to do in high school and we lived up to it, obviously,” he said. “At that point, every year was one step closer.”
Dalenberg said there are “way too many” things to name that he will miss about his career at Galion High School.
“Everything, from the parking lot to getting out of the car to walking out of the school,” he said. “The sports, the pep rallies, this and that, lunch — there’s not one thing I won’t miss.”
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