Caddie gig leads Raider to prestigious scholarship

Herald Sports Editor


HUNTINGBURG — For Beau Schneider, the job came about the way most high-school jobs do: through word of mouth and the desire to make a little money.

Schneider has turned his caddying gig into far more than that.

The Southridge senior was recently named one of four students statewide to receive the Chick Evans Scholarship, a full college tuition and housing scholarship valued at an estimated $17,500 annually and renewable for up to four years. The scholarships are awarded by the Western Golf Association, and the other winners and their respective high schools are John Conway (Carmel), Leonard Chocholek (Hammond Noll) and Henry Henderson (Heritage).

Winners were selective on four main criteria: a strong caddie record, excellent academics, outstanding character and financial need. Schneider first began caddying two years ago, when his grandmother put him in touch with an acquaintance, Dave Harner, who’s the director of golf operations at French Lick Springs Resort.

“He’s kind of how I got the job caddying up there,” Schneider said. “He told me about the scholarship right off the bat.”

The process required some work over the course of a few months — an application and an essay, along with recommendation letters and reviews from a high school counselor and caddie master.

“It’s pretty extensive what it goes through. ... It took a long time,” said Schneider, the son of Barry and Bridget Schneider of Huntingburg.

“Even once you get up (to college), you have to get a certain GPA, you have to follow certain rules and requirements, and you have to re-apply for it every year.”

The Indiana recipients are required to attend either Indiana or Purdue university, and Schneider has already picked Purdue with plans to major in mechanical engineering technology.

Schneider isn’t yet sure of a specific career field beyond college, but his next four years are already fairly well outlined — and essentially paid for, too.

“I feel very honored to be able to (win),” said Schneider, who played football at Southridge and is getting set for his final season of golf in the spring. “Coming out of school, knowing college is paid, that’s a big deal. I know people in my family that are still paying college loans,” he finished with a laugh.

The WGA has administered the Evans Scholarship Program — one of the nation’s largest privately funded scholarship programs — since its founding in 1930 by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr. Currently, 840 caddies are enrolled in colleges across the nation as Evans Scholars, including 60 at IU and 40 at Purdue. More than 9,800 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars, including 573 from IU and 423 from Purdue.

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