Manchester's Eichener signs to play golf at Valpo

Kelsey Eichenauer (front row, center) will continue her education and golf career at Valparaiso University. Pictured with her when she signed with the university are (front row, from left) her parents Lori Zimmerman and Joel Eichenauer; Manchester girls golf coach Josh Troyer (back row, from left), brother Connor Eichenauer and sister Karly Eichenauer. Photo by Eric Christiansen

By Eric Christiansen

NORTH MANCHESTER -- Kelsey Eichenauer is breaking from family tradition.

The Manchester High School senior has two siblings currently attending Manchester University. Both of her parents are also MU alumna, and generations before them.

Instead, Eichenauer will be living a dream to compete at the NCAA Division I level a member of the golf team while she continues her education at Valparaiso University.

“I never thought it was possible [for me] to play a Division I sport until a semester ago,” Eichenauer said. “I took the opportunity when I came across.”

The Squire senior had Manchester University at the top of her list, along with Goshen College and Southwestern University near Austin, Texas.

Valparaiso womens golf coach Jill McCoy is excited Eichenauer chose Valparaiso.

“When I met Kelsey, I could tell right away that she has heart and that fire in the belly that great competitors have,” McCoy said. “I continued to pursue Kelsey because of her attitude and the way she carries and presents herself. She is going to be a great asset to my team.

“She has dedication and willingness to work hard, but I can also see she will be a strong leader.”

Eichenauer has met most of her future teammates is looking forward to joining them.

“The team is fun-loving, fun-spirited, and I felt like they care about me,” she said. “That's a good feeling.”

Eichenauer is a four-time regional qualifier, just missing an appearance at the state meet by one stroke last fall.

She is also been a Three Rivers Conference golf champion and earned academic all-state honors.

Eichenauer plans to study Elementary Education at Valparaiso.

Posted on 2019 Feb 26