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Gasperini eyes extra year of college golf

South Boston News / May 07, 2020

South Boston native Peter Gasperini was having a very decent spring on the golf course with Radford University before the Highlanders’ season was interrupted.

The Radford men’s golf team had competed at the Pinehurst Intercollegiate on March 3, and tied for third in the tournament. Gasperini led the squad with a final round 74, placing the senior golf standout in the top-10 for the second time this season.

Gasperini entered the event second on the team in scoring with a 74.04 stroke average. And he had a top-5 finish in early season competition.

But the his season would be cut short as COVID-19 took center stage. Now away from school, Gasperini is looking towards wrapping up the school year.

“We actually went on spring break,” Gasperini said, referring to the time before the COVID-19 virus cancelled sping sports. “So our spring break happened and then the guys on the team took a golf trip down to Charleston. We were in Charleston for a week and that’s when we found out that we got an extended spring break.”

Gasperini said he and his teammates were thinking things were going to calm down, but the emregency escalated as the effects of the coronavirus became more pronounced.

“So, the way it kind of came out, the news hit as we got an additional week of spring break and then we found out we’d be gone for a little while,” Gasperini continued. “In the beginning we all thought we’re just gonna miss a few weeks of school and then we were gonna come right back.

“We were all pretty naïve just thinking this thing was gonna blow over. It went from thinking about your golf, thinking you’re going to play golf in a few weeks and then go back to normal. All your roommates and all your college friends are gone. So the golf aspect kind of fades into the background pretty quick.”

Gasperini will return to college next year for an additional year of NCAA eligibility. Though this time, his school of choice may not be Radford.

As HCHS male ahlete of the year, Gasperini had a blazing 2014 summer and senior season for the Comets varsity golf team. Gasperini won five tournaments over the course of that year, including the UNC Junior Championship, the Patriot Junior Memorial and the Andrew Haley Memorial golf tournaments. That same year Gasperini was invited to the Scott Roberson Memorial, one of the most prestigious golf events in the U.S.

Add in the fact that Gasperini also lettered in three other sports in high school and one can see the how competitive he is. That competiveness was one of the qualities Radford liked about Gasperini when they signed him.

“I thought we were going to have a pretty good year,” Gasperini said, speaking of the Highlanders golf team this season. “You know, we always kind of struggled on the back half. But I thought we had some guys that had a little bit of experience and help out a little bit. And I was kind of leading the charge and seeing what we could do come conference time.”

Gasperini redshirted his freshman year because he felt he needed to raise the level of his game. He said that decision really improved his play.

“My game got a lot better when I got here. I needed a year to grow. And then it kind of went from I started out on the bottom when I got here, the back half. And I just kept working my way up. Next thing you know, I was starting to get better than some guys and by the time I was here our last two years I was our best player.

“This would have been my senior year of school. It would have been my fifth year of school but my fourth year of golf. I actually entered the Transfer Portal so I am not coming back to Radford.”

Gasperini said he enjoyed his time at Radford. Transferring has more to do with his professional aspirations than anything.

“Basically you enter the Transfer Portal and coaches have the ability to contact you,” Gasperini said of leaving Radford. “So quite a few coaches have already reached out. I’m still try to weigh my options here.

“What happened is they’re passing school legislation and that’s kind of what everybody is waiting on, so that seniors don’t have to pursue a grad program. They can go pursue another year of undergraduate studies. So, that’s what I would be doing. “

“My plans are to turn pro after this next year, so I’m transferring to a school with great facilities to improve my game.”

Gasperini couldn’t imagine being a high school student and having to experience a season of canceled sports. He observed there is some much more involved with sports than just playing a game. He said he felt for the Comet senior athletes who’ve lost their final year.

“I can imagine for a lot of these high school kids, this is probably they’re last year of playing competitive sports, so … You know they are probably a little upset,” Gasperini said. “You know my whole life is centered on sports. That’s where all my friends are from; it’s just everything I did centered on sports.

“So it was a big part of my life, still is a big part of my life. I can see how it’s very difficult for these kids to have their senior season taken away from them. But you know at the end of the day, it makes people step back and realize that sports really bring people together but there’s a lot of things out there bigger than sports. But sports is a good way to bring people together.”

The psychology major, who also has a minor in sociology said he was thankful for his time growing up in Halifax County. He made the point where some people think South Boston is just some hick town, he’s been able to make a lot of friends here.

“I actually liked you know growing up … everyone says I hate Halifax, yada, yada but a lot of my best friends are from Halifax.”

Gasperini parents are Joe and Brooke Gasperini. He has seven siblings.

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