Champion signs Hannibal-LaGrange golf grant

Friday, February 6, 2015
Tanner Burks signs his letter of intent to play golf at Hannibal-LaGrange University. Joining him as he signs are his parents Cari and Danny, along with (back row, from left) Hannibal-LaGrange coach Thomas Brennan and Cascade coach Chad Spencer. (T-G Photos by Chris Siers)

When it came time to pick a college to attend to, all it took for Cascade senior Tanner Burks was a trip to Hannibal-LaGrange and a tour of the campus to realize that's where he wanted to not only continue his higher education but also continue his golfing career.

"They looked at me on my profile and I started emailing them. Then I went and toured it and liked the school. I just fell in love with it," he said.

Perfect fit

Burks was a key foundation that helped Cascade usher in unprecedented success over the last four years that included district and region titles, as well as trips to the TSSAA Class A/AA state tournament. (T-G Photo by Chris Siers)

Hannibal-LaGrange University, a NAIA division school, is located in Hannibal, Mo., and enrolls approximately 1,500 students.

In addition to finding his fit with the school, Burks got a chance to play a round of golf with Trojan head coach Thomas Brennan.

And Burks did what he's done in a Cascade Champion uniform for five years--impress.

"I had the opportunity to have him out to our golf course and play a round with him. He played solid for the first time being out on our course," Brennan said.

Impressive

"It's a little more intriguing course. A lot of times when kids play it for the first time they struggle."

But Burks impressed the coach enough to earn a spot in the upcoming school year on the Trojan roster.

While Burks will continue his career in Hannibal-LaGrange colors, he got his start as an eighth-grader, immediately contributing for the Cascade varsity squad.

Soon after, Burks began participating in tournaments as well.

Real leader

"His leadership has just been outstanding. He loves to practice and spend time on the range. His course management was the thing I got most impressed with him as his game improved," said Cascade coach Chad Spencer.

"He has an extremely strong work ethic. That's rare in a lot of kids these days. I couldn't be more proud of Tanner."

Though he's played a lot of golf in a Cascade uniform, Burks doesn't have one specific memory that stands out as a favorite, but rather helping lead the Champions to unprecedented success that included district and region titles, as well as helping the team qualify for the TSSAA Class A/AA state tournaments.

Looking ahead

With the next step on the horizon, Burks has an idea of wanting to study biology, but hasn't yet decided on a career path to follow.

But when it came down to adding Burks to the Trojan roster, it was his consistent leadership in playing quality golf.

"I know he's a consistent player, even when he doesn't have his A-game, I'm sure he'll be able to post good scores for us," Brennan said.

"That's what we're looking for."