AUGUSTA — Jacob Roddy was 8 years old when he first got hooked on golf.

He was playing with his father, Mike, at Belgrade Lake Golf Club when he did something most golfers go an entire lifetime without accomplishing — a hole-in-one.

“(Golf) has always been a big part of my life,” Roddy, now a senior at the University of Maine at Augusta, said Tuesday. “It’s something that I truly enjoy.”

A Belgrade native and Messalonskee High School graduate, Roddy recently finished up his final season playing golf for the Moose.

He played his last round for UMA Saturday at the Yankee Small Conference College Championships, where his 6-over-par 77 at Pease Golf Club in Portsmouth, N.H. was the fifth best score of the day. His team-low round helped pace UMA to a third-place finish.

In his senior season, however, Roddy has done much more than stick fairways and greens.

Earlier this month he was named USCAA National Golf Student-Athlete of the Year, an award which factors in “athletic performance, community service, campus involvement and overall work ethic,” according to the school’s website.

“I really didn’t know I was nominated for it,” Roddy said. “(UMA golf coach Tristan Starbird) had told me he had written up a little paper about me and submitted it. It was a total surprise when I got the award.”

When asked why he nominated Roddy for the award, Starbird said the Messalonskee grad was an obvious choice.

“Jake is our leader. He’s the captain of the team and he led them out of the tunnel, so to speak,” Starbird said. “We had a lot of new players this year and he pushed our new guys to play better.

“… He’s the ultimate example of what you want as a student-athlete.”

In addition to his success on the course and in the classroom, Roddy has also done a significant amount of community service.

Every fall he volunteers at the Waterville Boys and Girls Club Thanksgiving dinner, and in the spring he gives his time to the Multiple Sclerosis “Maine Walks” fundraiser. He has also regularly volunteered at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Golf Tournament.

Much like his love of golf, however, Roddy has known what he has wanted to be for a long time — a Maine State Trooper.

“Even through childhood I thought all I wanted to be was a police officer,” Roddy said. “When I was getting ready to graduate from high school I went on a couple ride alongs and I was hooked right away.”

In his senior year of high school he went on rides along with the Kennebec Sherriffs Office and later with the Maine State Police — whom he ultimately interned with during his sophomore year at UMA.

Roddy said he is in the process of applying to become a state trooper and even if he does not get in this time around, it will only be a matter of time until he realizes his dream.

“That’s the only department I’m applying for,” Roddy said. “If I don’t get in, then I’ll just reapply in six months.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley


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