Denver-area high school caddies carry home college scholarships


Sydney Bates, Tara O’Gorman and Reilly Richards were three of the 11 Colorado caddies awarded full tuition and housing Evans scholarships to the University of Colorado.

Prerequisites to be considered for a Chick Evans scholarship include excellent academics, financial need, strong caddie record and solid leadership.

Bates is an Arapahoe High School senior and a caddie at Columbine Country Club. Her younger sister was diagnosed with leukemia and her family filed for bankruptcy because of increasing medical bills and her father’s failed business. He is employed in a minimum wage job.

The scholarship is valued at more than $80,000 over four years.

“It was an absolute honor to have won an Evans scholarship,” said Bates. “I worked so hard for two years. It was a sense of relief and honor I have from winning this scholarship. It allows me to go to college and follow my dreams.”

Bates’ mother worked at Arapahoe when Sydney stumbled across an application to caddie. She gave it a try, admitting she was not athletic.

“I never thought this would be a job for me,” said Bates who wants to become a pediatric oncologist because of her sister. “I always thought I’d be a drive-through person at Chick-fil-A, but I like this Chick better.”

O’Gorman, a Mountain Vista senior and caddie at Cherry Hills Country Club, became a caddie so she could qualify for the Evans scholarship since her mother is a single mom with a son in college.

“I started working as a caddie for a scholarship,” she said. “I’ve never golfed in my life. My mom is a single mother paying for my brother’s college already. It was security so my mom wouldn’t have to work three jobs to put two kids through school.”

Richards attends Arvada West, is a caddie at Lakewood Country Club and played golf for the Wildcats.

“The Evans scholarship meant the world to me because I’m not sure college would have been an option without it,” he said. “It has changed my life for the better and for the future. Now I see a future for me.”

Evans was a top amateur golfer who won the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in 1916.

No waiting around for DiDonna

Katie DiDonna dislikes waiting. At least that’s the way she plays on the basketball court.DiDonna, a 5-foot-7 Rock Canyon senior who was an all-league softball shortstop last fall, leads the Continental League and all Class 5A players in rebounding with an average of 12.6 per game.

“Katie is an outstanding rebounder,” said Jaguars coach Becky Mudd. “Her rebounding skills are a result of her tenaciousness and fearlessness on the court. Unlike other girls, she doesn’t wait for the ball to come to her. She goes up anywhere around her and attacks the ball and brings it in.

“Katie has really embraced her role as a tough rebounder, quick defender and a player who only knows how to play one way: hard.”

Top 5A wrestling seeds

Seven area wrestlers have been top-seeded in the Class 5A brackets in the state high school wrestling tournament, which will be held Feb. 18-20 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

The top seeds are Castle View’s Malik Heinselman (106 pounds), Tomas Guiterrez of Pomona (120), Legacy’s Ryan Deakin (138), Pomona’s Jason Romero (145), Dawson Cranmer of Chaparral (170), Matt Hebel of Legacy (182) and Mountain Vista’s Trenton Schultz (195).

Final week of regular season

There will be a plenty of scrambling for state playoff positions as the regular boys and girls basketball seasons must be concluded by Feb. 20.


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