Aug 17, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army head golf coach Brian Watts welcomed three newcomers to the team on Saturday as the U.S. Military Academy conducted its annual Acceptance Day festivities at West Point. Peter Kim, Justin Pagila and Steven Pedersen participated in the Oath Ceremony and Acceptance Day Parade, officially becoming members of the United States Corps of Cadets.
“These three players represent one of the strongest recruiting classes I have been associated with since I began coaching more than15 years ago,” Watts said. “Not only are these three young men tremendous golfers, but they will represent the Academy and golf alumni proudly, on and off the course. We are excited about what they will bring to the program not only from a golf perspective, but also as they develop into leaders in the U.S, Army. They represent the kind of leadership and work ethic we are looking for both athletically and as cadets.”
Kim, a native of Metuchen, N.J., played scholastically at Metuchen High School. His well-decorated junior career included two American Junior Golf Association tournament victories and nine top-10 finishes in AJGA events. Kim was ranked No. 3 nationally in class of 2013 by the AJGA when he arrived at West Point to begin Cadet Basic Training. A first-team all-state honoree four times, Kim won the 2012 New Jersey high school crown and captured the 2013 sectional event by firing a 64.
“Peter is an amazing young man with a great attitude,”Watts said. “Along with his abundance of golf talent, Peter brings a positive attitude and incredible work ethic to the course every day. He has shown great leadership skills during the recruiting process, and we expect more of that as a cadet and beyond.”
Pagila arrived at West Point from Dublin, Calif., after a standout career at De La Salle High School. He established himself as one of the top golfers in the California, posting top five finishes in both the 2012 Junior PGA Championship and Junior America’s Cup. In addition, he carded an eight-place showing at the Junior World Championship. Pagila completed the season ranked in the top 10 by Golfweek Magazine. In his final scholastic season, he led De La Salle to the California Interscholastic Federation championship, posting a Diablo Country Club course record 62.
“Justin comes from a great high school and has the passion and determination to become a great cadet-athlete,” Watts said. “He demonstrated great leadership abilities at De La Salle, and we expect more of the same here at West Point. He is quite talented on the course and has the confidence that will allow him to excel.”
Pedersen begins his career as a cadet after four years of competition at Scotch Plains High School in nearby Scotch Plains, N.J. A successful performer in New Jersey during his high school tenure, Pedersen is no stranger to West Point. He attended the prestigious West Point Summer Leaders Seminar in 2012. He was one of 1,000 high school juniors accepted from across the nation to come to the Academy for the opportunity to experience life at West Point.
“Steven is an incredible young man with a vast array of golf skills,” Watts said. “He will be a leader for us on and off the course. His knowledge of the game is second to none, and he will bring many valuable traits to the team.”
Army begins its 2013 fall schedule on Sept. 7 at the Colgate Invitational presented by Steelberry. The Black Knights return three All-Patriot League golfers, including Rookie of the Year Marcus Plunkett from last year’s team that posted a third-place finish at the conference championship event.