Like many young athletes, West Liberty senior Elliot Henderson grew up playing just about any sport he could get involved in.
Henderson preferred hockey in his elementary years.
He tried basketball and wrestling as he grew older. He played baseball in the summer and football in the fall and added golf or track when he had time.
Just like many other energetic children, if you named a sport, Henderson would give it a try.
Unlike some other athletes though, Henderson didn’t give up his multi-sport ways when he reached high school.
“For a school like West Liberty, it’s imperative to do all the sports, because we wouldn’t have a team if we didn’t do that,” Henderson said. “All our coaches try to promote being multi-sport athletes because it prepares you for other sports.”
A starting linebacker on the football team, Henderson ranked second on the team with 99 tackles this fall, helping West Liberty reach the 2A state playoffs.
During the winter, Henderson earned his second straight medal at the state wrestling tournament going 42-6 and finishing seventh in 2A at 120 pounds.
Now with his prep career winding down, Henderson turns his focus to golf, where he hopes to end his career with his first trip to the state golf meet next month.
“I’m used to being busy and I’m looking forward to just focusing on golf this spring and trying to have the best season that I can,” Henderson said. “I have high expectations for myself as well as our team this year.”
Last spring, the Henderson split his time between track and field and golf.
This spring, with a full academic load that includes classes at the University of Iowa, Henderson switched his full athletic focus to golf with the hopes of ending his career on a high note.
“It’s a little sad to not do track, but I just wanted to focus wholeheartedly on golf and see how far I could go,” Henderson said. “Last spring was pretty chaotic.”
Henderson, who posted an average of 43.2 last season as a junior, finished runner-up at the sectional meet last season to advance to districts.
He finished seventh at the district meet, missing a state tournament berth by four strokes.
“Last year he had a mix with track and I’d say he maybe practiced a half dozen times last year,” West Liberty coach Jason Iske said. “For him to get runner-up at sectionals and make it to districts and play really well at districts is a testament to his golf game.”
Henderson is one of three senior starters returning from last year’s West Liberty team that narrowly missed a district berth for the second consecutive season.
“The past few years we’ve ended up one stroke shy of districts as a team,” Henderson said. “We return pretty much everybody, so we have a good shot at that.”
Senior Kohl Wheeler returns after posting a 44.3 average and finishing third at the Cedar Valley Conference meet last season.
Fellow senior Sergio Zamora also returns along with junior Austin Newton.
“Our three seniors that we have coming back are all solid,” Iske said. “Elliot and Kolh were very good last year and I really expect Sergio to step his game up a little bit.”
For Henderson, who plans to wrestle collegiately next season and has narrowed his college choices to the University of Chicago, New York University and the University of Pennsylvania, golf season offers one final opportunity to put the finishing touches on what has been a hectic yet successful prep career.
“Historically West Liberty hasn’t been a great golf program, and last year we finished third at conference, which was a tough meet,” Henderson said. “I think we have a great team coming back and I think we can do some damage if we are all in sync on the right day.”