NAPPANEE – There’s a good chance you may not have heard of NorthWood senior MacKenzie Weaver. Often referred to as “Twitterless MacKenzie” on the NorthWood golf Twitter account, Weaver has held a relatively low profile coming through the ranks despite a gregarious demeanor and flashy sock game.
Tuesday, Weaver added her name to the star-studded list in the golf program lore by signing her National Letter of Intent to continue her golf career with St. Mary’s College.
“Everything I was able to do in high school, because of coach (Adam Yoder), because of my family and the support of my teammates, because of my competitiveness between us teammates, that all helped me get to where I am now,” Weaver said shortly after her signing ceremony in the South Surge area at NorthWood High School Tuesday. “I didn’t think about the future much while I was playing, but once the season ended, I started thinking about my goals, thinking about colleges and what I wanted to do next. It was, hey, this was great, but now I have to look at what’s next.”
In a setting where star athletes coming out of NorthWood typically have spotlight exposure as a multi-sport participant, Weaver went about her athletic business as just a golfer. The ability to concentrate on just one sport, to which NorthWood golf was stocked the past four with fellow collegiate players Linnzie Richner, Summer Stillson and Abby Slabaugh along with wonder freshman Cybil Stillson this past fall, allowed Weaver to hone her craft at a rapid pace. All the while wearing mismatched Nike basketball socks that became a staple of her wardrobe.
“The socks, the first time it happened, they were accidentally mismatched, but I played really well that day, so it kind of became a thing,” shared Weaver. “They became my little good luck quirky thing.”
The Belles’ roster is concise, with just seven on the active list, and only one, Taylor Kehoe, is set to graduate. But one of the glaring names on the list is soon-to-be junior Summer Stillson, to which Stillson was among the greatest to golf in the NorthWood girls program. She should provide at least a little comfort for Weaver as she ventures into college golf.
“I definitely talked to Summer quite a bit in making this decision,” Weaver said. “She was wonderful when I went in to visit. I got to meet the other members of the team. Summer has some very extraordinary recruiting abilities, and she helped seal the deal for me. Knowing that I would know Summer as well, she is a great teammate no matter where you are, so that certainly helped influence my decision.”
Weaver’s personal accomplishments at NorthWood are arguably among the best the program has ever seen for a full career. Weaver is the only golfer – male or female – to golf in three IHSAA State Finals and joined Summer Stillson as the only two golfers in program history to earn four First Team All-Northern Lakes Conference honors. With Weaver in the varsity lineup, NorthWood never lost a dual (45-0), which includes a perfect 28-0 mark in NLC play and four NLC team titles along with a pair of sectional crowns to boot.
“She definitely marches to the beat to her own drummer,” Yoder said. “But she is such a sweet kid. She has grown up so much the last four years, been a great leader. Just an outstanding person, she is going to do great things in life. She’s an outstanding golfer and an outstanding student. Her future is super bright.
“She made the decision that she wanted to take our program to another level. Her and Abby Slabaugh both had a hand in getting this team to where it is. There are plenty of kids who focus on one sport, and it really doesn’t work. And the one thing that we’ve got here at NorthWood, we have kids who are willing to try something else and put themselves in an uncomfortable position. It helps them grow. For MacKenzie, she had a vision and a goal for this golf team, and that was her interest. For most athletes, you need to have something else to take your mind off it, you can’t be obsessed with just one thing. That wasn’t MacKenzie.”
Looking to expand her horizons beyond the golf course, Weaver is planning to explore engineering as a major. While the senior didn’t play a second sport, she was active in academic clubs within the school, and was recognized by both the ICGSA and IHSGCA for Academic All-State nods in 2018.
“I wanted to golf in college, and St. Mary’s would give a great team I could golf with,” Weaver said. “I want to be an engineer, I’m not sure what kind of engineer yet, but that process will work itself out. Their program is with Notre Dame, so to be able to potentially get some education through Notre Dame is very appealing to me as well.”