Trevor Oberg admits he was an average student when he attended McCook High School. He golfed, but not really at the level you might expect for someone hoping to compete in college. McCook Community College Golf Coach Tyler Loop took a chance. In part because of his work ethic and determination and the subsequent results, Oberg has been named McCook Community College's Student Commencement Speaker. Ceremonies are set for 10 a.m. Friday at the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center.
"If you would have told me two-years ago that I'd be on the President's List and Dean's List in college, be named an academic all-American and be selected as a student commencement speaker, I never would have believed it," Oberg said.
The motivation was always there, but when he enrolled in Kelly Rippen's College Success class, he found a study tool that made a difference for him. She suggested setting a timer to focus on something for 20 minutes, then take a five-minute break, and then back to work. "It might sound simple, but it seemed to free me up so I didn't get stuck on one thing, it definitely relieved stress." He put the technique to work immediately with fairly tough science class. He used it for quiz preparation and tests, and saw his grade improve. So he incorporated this and other study skills into all of his classes.
He made the Dean's list after his first semester, the President's list after his second semester, and was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association's (NJCAA) all-academic second team.
"I never won any academic awards in high school," he said. On the golf course, he continued battling through the ups and downs of his freshman year that ended with the team qualifying for the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament last June.
With his academics anchored, he began making some strides on the golf course in the fall. He became a regular starter and posted a low score of 68 in the Otero Junior College tournament Sept. 26 in La Junta, Colo. and finished fourth in the two-day tournament with a score of 144. Oberg was ranked 10th in the final Region IX individual standings with the 15 points earned in 12 fall tournament rounds. He earned standings points for the Indians in all six of the fall tournaments.
In October the team cracked the Top 20 National JUCO rankings at No. 19 and seem poised to make a third straight trip to Nationals when COVID-19 concerns cancelled spring sports.
"I was doing well in school, our team put a lot of time lifting weights, and hitting balls inside, getting outside as the weather allowed and were ready to go. Then we just lost our season."
While taking classes on-line was an adjustment, his part-time job at Heritage Hills also ramped up with personal changes forcing him to put in nine-to-10-hour days. For him and his fellow MCC graduates, the paths they had planned for their final semester at MCC took dramatic turns.
"There really isn't much any of us could do – other than be willing to adapt," he said. He was named to the Dean's list both semesters of his sophomore year and this received his second NJCAA all-academic award.
In April, Oberg signed his letter of intent (virtually) to continue his golf career this fall at Kansas Wesleyan in Salina.
"MCC provided me with a great opportunity to improve myself, and be more respected because of what I've been able to accomplish in the classroom and on the golf course."
Perseverance and determination are a couple qualities which describe Oberg's two years at MCC and those are two qualities he will speak about with his fellow graduates Friday at Commencement.