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Former LeBlond golfer will participate in NCAA Regionals for MWSU

May 1—The St. Joseph high school scene has had multiple golfers find success through college and beyond, and that's no different for Jeffery Johnston, a current Missouri Western Griffon and Bishop LeBlond alum.

With the 2024 MIAA Golf Championships being completed recently, Johnston now turns his attention to the 2024 NCAA Division II Midwest/Central Regional.

"It's been a long season," Johnston said. "I'm glad it's been a consistent one to lead me up to that title, so I'm glad it ended up that way."

Missouri Western golf finished fifth in the 2024 MIAA Golf Championships, five shots behind fourth. Three individuals played their way into the top 20, which included the junior, whose made it back-to-back seasons for the program to capture a first teamer, taking eighth (223) due to two under-par rounds.

"We showed all year that we had signs of showing some real greatness, and it's just a matter of putting one more round together and it's that close," Johnston said. "It's gotten a lot closer to what we want to achieve."

Johnston's six top-10 finishes and two tournament wins, while also earning first team All-MIAA honors, rewarded him with the opportunity to represent Missouri Western and St. Joseph in the Midwest/Central Regional.

The griffon junior is one of 32 individuals participating along with 80 teams nation-wide, and it's the first NCAA Tournament appearance for Johnston.

"The last probably four or so years I've kind of progressed a little higher," Johnston said. "It's been nice to kind of do that at the perfect time for college, more and more comfortable with college life and how to deal with that."

Now feeling like he's reaching the height of his talent, Johnston is excited to showcase to the entire NCAA what he can do on the course. For the Griffon, there is one thing to remember during a high intense event like the NCAA Tournaments.

"Golf is a very tough mental game for sure, but you gotta put it in perspective and realize that you have the talent to play well, so you just take one shot at a time and don't let the bad shots affect you," Johnston said. "As I've gotten older and more mature on the golf course, it's gotten a lot easier to take those bad shots out of my mind."

The Midwest/Central Regional takes place May 9-11 at Kickingbird golf course in Edmond, Oklahoma. Despite the results from this upcoming event, Johnston will go into next season as a senior, and will have two brothers join him on the team, Pat and Tim Johnston.

This will be a reconstruction of the 2021 Bishop LeBlond state winning team, and next year should provide some fun.

"It's going to be awesome. It's a rare thing to have one of your teammates, let alone all five be at one college," Johnston said. "Especially playing with my brothers is going to be really special."

Calvin Silvers can be reached at calvin.silvers@newspressnow.com.