Although Landon Cawood primarily only played one sport in high school, golf, he was involved in a wide variety of organizations both inside and outside of Northridge High School. He also was one of the top students at the school, graduating with a 4.23 GPA.
It was for those reasons that Cawood was nominated by Northridge Assistant Athletic Director Brad Frank as the school’s selection for The Goshen News’ 2021 Unsung Athletes series.
It’s pretty cool, said Cawood on the nomination. I didn’t expect it, that’s for sure. It’s definitely a cool experience.
Cawood started playing golf when he would make visits to his grandfather, Barrett, in Virginia each spring.
He was a big-time golfer — I think he actually won some senior tournament in Virginia once, Cawood said. He was pretty good, and I would come up every spring to his house and just play golf with him.
After playing on the junior high team at Northridge, Cawood started taking the game more seriously going into his freshman year. Cawood said that was the first time he went to his grandfather’s house strictly to play golf, working on his game with his grandpa.
Cawood was on the junior varsity team his freshman year of high school, then a varsity member his sophomore year. Northridge struggled both seasons, not making it out of the sectional in either year. Then, the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning Cawood missed out on his junior season.
All of this would set up the success Cawood and the Raiders would find this spring, however.
ENDING ON A HIGH NOTE
Going into his final year of high school sports, Cawood’s mentality remained the same as the prior seasons.
I really just wanted to have fun, just like every other season, Cawood said. I wasn’t really interested in going further with golf, like playing in college or anything. I was just like, ‘Let’s just go and have fun. And if the team’s good, we’ll enjoy it. And if not, we’ll enjoy it anyway.’
Cawood was consistently in the Northridge lineup this year, usually playing in the No. 3 or No. 4 position. The Raiders were much improved from 2019, contending for the Northern Lakes Conference title with state-ranked Warsaw. Although Northridge fell just short of an NLC crown, they were able to breakthrough and win a sectional title on their home course of Meadow Valley Golf Club in Middlebury.
Being able to find success his senior year was even more rewarding, in Cawood’s mind.
It was definitely awesome to finish it out the way we did, Cawood said.
Northridge boys golf coach Todd King had nothing but praise for the lone senior on the roster.
Landon was a captain for us this past season and did a phenomenal job leading his teammates, King said. He kept his teammates focused and very positive throughout the course of the season. Landon’s 84 that he shot in our sectional helped us with securing the sectional championship. … Landon has been a great role model for his peers. He’s one of those kids that does the little things right.
Along with playing on the boys’ team, Cawood was a manager for the girls golf team his senior year.
On match day, I would go take scores and everything; put them into the computer, said Cawood of his managerial responsibilities. At practice, I would just practice with them and be an extra body in case they needed to even out drills, player-wise, or I’d go get range balls. All that kind of stuff.
Cawood wasn’t just a golfer at Northridge. He also spent seven years (middle school and high school) playing the trumpet in the pep band. In high school, he was a member of the student council and National Honor Society, as well as a group called Optimus Club that would volunteer time at the Middlebury food pantry.
Helping others is something that’s been a huge part of Cawood’s life. He’s been able to do that through his time as a member of the Boy Scouts, working his way up to the rank of Eagle Scout last year.
My older brother (Colton) was also in scouting, and he obtained his rank of Eagle, Cawood said. He’s a few years older than me … when he got his Eagle Scout, I thought that was really cool. That helped keep me in the program and keep me working for it.
Cawood wants to make helping people, specifically children, his career now. The recent high school graduate will be attending Indiana University in the fall to study biology. He hopes to then go to medical school, with a plan to become a pediatrician.
I was mainly drawn to the medical field because both of my parents are veterinarians, so I’ve had that experience with medicine growing up in this household, Cawood said. I’ve gotten to go on calls with my father, who’s a large animal vet and just get to experience that. I never really wanted to do anything else other than medicine.
And then, through Boy Scouts, I worked at a summer camp where I got to teach the younger scouts rank advancement, so that got me into helping kids out and stuff. So, they kind of just fit right together for pediatrics.
Cawood said he wouldn’t have been able to do what he did without the support of his family and coaches.
I definitely want to thank my family and all of that because they’ve definitely been a big help, Cawood said. Grandparents, too, and my coaches — they’ve definitely been a big help, too.