Written by Riley Micallef
When you look outside, the first thing that comes to your mind probably isn’t summer. However, for senior golfer Francesco Ruffino, summer sprung early.
Ruffino, a soon-to-be Division I college golfer committed to Michigan State University in early August last summer. As preparation for next year, Ruffino is spending the next three weeks living with his grandparents in Florida. He will be working on his golf game, while waiting out the Michigan weather.
“I’m in Florida for three weeks practicing and playing in tournaments. After that I will come back and focus on playing golf here in Michigan,” Ruffino said.
While in Florida, Ruffino played in two competitive tournaments, FCWT at Feather Sound and AJGA at Innisbrook. Ruffino took 41st place at the FCWT, which was played on March 23rd and 24th. Both tournaments present college level competition for him to work on his game.
The competition Ruffino will be facing is similar in skill to Ruffino himself. The tournaments are geared towards athletes striving for golf scholarships. The AJGA states that they are, “dedicated to the overall development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships,” according to the American Junior Golf Association’s website.
These scores will be his last in competition; he has finished all planed tournaments. Ruffino now spends his time playing rounds for fun and taking in the Florida sun.
While Ruffino is in the sunshine state, the Maples golf team is back here in Michigan without him. His decision to play golf in Florida made it impossible to play on the school team too, but the team is supportive of him.
“I’m happy for him [Ruffino] that he is moving on to the next stage of his game and I wish him the best of luck,” senior golfer Jack Corbett said. “The team will miss him but we will move on and still have a great season.”
When Ruffino returns home soon, Seaholm will not be the place to find him. In fact, Ruffino made sure he had enough credits to not attend any of the third trimester, and finish school early.
Although Ruffino is essentially on summer vacation, he still has not graduated—he will walk with the rest of his class on graduation day. He can also attend all other school activities, sporting events, and most importantly, prom.
“I’m allowed to go to prom and all other school activities. Had I not been allowed to, that would’ve played a role in my decision to finish early. However I am, and the choice was easy,” Ruffino said.