Purcellville, Va. — Loudoun Valley High School senior Ryan Hammer has made a verbal commitment to continue his golf career at Longwood University beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year.
“It is a little surreal to think countless hours on the golf course have paid off,” the 6-foot Hammer said. “I am extremely excited and relieved to be verbally committed to such a great school. Sometimes I wish I could press fast forward and join the team now.”
Before pressing fast forward, Hammer will play his senior season for the Loudoun Valley Vikings. After winning the individual Conference 21B, VHSL 4A West region and VHSL 4A state championships in 2016, Hammer has high hopes for 2017.
“My three years playing golf for Loudoun Valley have been nothing short of amazing. We have such a great group of players and coaches, and I would not be where I am today without them,” Hammer said. “From winning a team state championship to winning an individual state championship, it has been an incredible experience and we hope to add another championship to the resume this season.”
Following his final season in green and gold, Hammer will turn in his Vikings’ polo for Longwood’s blue and white. The Division I Lancers open their 2017-2018 season on September 11-12 when they travel to Huntington, West Virginia to compete in the Joe Feaganes Invitational. After finishing sixth in the Big South Conference tournament in 2016, Hammer could have an immediate impact with Longwood during his first season.
“I hope to travel with the team and be able to have my scores contribute to the team total,” said Hammer, who was named the 2016 All-LoCo Golfer of the Year. “I hope to be able to shoot some low scores and help the Lancers win tournaments and achieve the team’s preseason goals.”
While playing Division I golf was a goal of Hammer’s, his decision to attend Longwood was about more than becoming a student-athlete.
“The golf team has a great group of guys and the program is on the rise so I look forward to being a part of the team,” Hammer said. “But I also love the location of the school, as well as the small school feel and being able to walk to class no matter what part of campus it is on.”
A Round Hill-native, Hammer grew up playing baseball, but when he decided to hang up his cleats, he turned to golf to spend more time with his best friend.
“I quickly picked it up and became addicted to getting better,” Hammer said. “I never get tired of practicing and playing because there is no greater feeling when the work finally pays off.”