April 19, 2014

Medina
Mostly clear
38°F

Family atmosphere steers Jessica Porvasnik toward Ohio State

COLUMBUS — Jessica Porvasnik’s brilliant golf mind felt she needed to head south to play collegiately. Her heart, however, felt it was best to stick close to Interstate 71.

Spurning southern schools Tennessee, Florida State, Virginia and North Carolina, the Highland megastar committed recently to join coach Therese Hession’s Ohio State Buckeyes in 2013.

Highland junior Jessica Porvasnik committed to play college golf at Ohio State. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY AARON JOSEFCZYK)

The three-time Gazette MVP will join Medina’s Jeanne Pritchard (1973-74) and Bobbi Richling (1991-93) and Brunswick’s Kelly Moskal (2000-02) as Medina Countians to play for the state’s best-known institution.

“I think with the team at Ohio State and the coaches, I will fit in really well there,” said Porvasnik, who is undecided on a major. “It’s going to be like our (high school) team now. We’re a nice big family.

“I got to know one of the freshmen (Kendall Prince) really well over the summer and we hit it off again when I went for a visit. We kind of have the same goals: Bring the national championship to Ohio State.”

Porvasnik is ranked as the 78th-best high school player in the county by Golfweek Magazine and was recruited heavily by Hession. The Ohio State staff was highly visible at this fall’s OSU Gray Course-hosted state tournament, where Porvasnik finished as a Division I second-team All-Ohioan a year after placing runner-up to Mason’s Emily Wright.

While Porvasnik was hesitant initially to commit to Ohio State because of winter weather concerns, the communication between the parties never ceased. Official visits to the four other schools confirmed to Porvasnik the Buckeyes’ full-ride offer and family atmosphere were too good to pass up.

“Meeting all the girls, they all had something nice to say,” Porvasnik said. “Everyone said, ‘Hi’ and put in their opinion on what they liked about Ohio State.”

The 16-year-old owns every county record after a sparkling 36.1 average that featured six rounds in the 60s, including a blistering 6-under-par 66 at the Sweetbriar Golf Club’s Legacy Course on Aug. 16. She has won 19 events over the past two seasons and has two appearances at the prestigious Junior PGA Championship on her summer resume.

Porvasnik is also the third Highland player to sign a D-I scholarship in the last six months after Lauren McKinzie (Ohio) and Stephanie Horvath (Cincinnati) inked shortly following the high school season.
“It feels good,” Porvasnik said. “I’m excited for our season this year then I’m looking forward to college.”

She then paused and let out a laugh.

“But first we have to get the state championship done,” she said.

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.