SUMMIT, NJ - To say Oratory Prep senior John Felitto has had a decorated golf run during his high school years would be a disservice.
Two-time United States Junior Amateur Qualifier in 2014 and 2015.
Three-time New Jersey State Open Championship Qualifier from 2013-2015.
New Jersey State Division Champion in 2014.
New Jersey PGA All-State First Team selection in 2014 and 2015.
Medalist at the 2014 Optimist International Golf Championship Qualifier.
High finishes in several high school tournaments, including: first place in the 2015 Peddie Invitational, first place in the 2015 Union County Conference Tournament, and first place in the 2015 State Sectional Tournament.
Add all of Felitto’s accomplishments over the last three years and the sum equals a scholarship to play golf at Notre Dame. Felitto, who is ranked the No. 2 player in New Jersey according to GolfWeek, recently signed his national letter-of-intent to golf for the Fighting Irish.
“I’ve been lucky enough to visit Notre Dame and its golf facilities twice,” Felitto said. “I have always thought of Notre Dame as a great school.”
In addition to his prowess on the golf course, Felitto’s accomplishments in the classroom also match well with Notre Dame’s status as one of the top academic schools in America.
Felitto will study Finance in Notre Dame’s business school, which ranks as the #1 graduate program in the country.
Academically, Felitto currently ranks third in Oratory Prep’s class of 2016.
Felitto and Notre Dame are a match “made in heaven”, but one that very easily couldn’t have happened. Notre Dame was not one of the schools Felitto chose when his heavy recruiting period began in 2014.
Determined not to let him get away, Notre Dame’s coaching staff contacted Felitto later in the year and the two sides have kept in contact ever since.
Felitto took an official visit to the campus in September and came away very impressed.
“I’ve been able to see every corner of the campus and even got the chance to see a football game,” Felitto said. “I go back-and-forth with Assistant Coach Gump on a weekly basis talking about my game and how I’m progressing.”
Felitto has progressed quite well over the last three years and certainly has his future head coach excited about his potential.
“John is another ‘all-in’ type player who is always looking for ways to improve and relishes competition,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. ‘”John’s golf swing is strong, he has excellent planes and plenty of speed through the hitting zone.”
“John’s desire though, will be a strong asset as he makes the transition to the college game. He is the player who wants to be first, no matter what the setting. That mentality is one coaches get excited about. We’re very excited about John.”
First place finishes have become sort of a normality for Felitto.
Out of all the top finishes, Felitto chose qualifying for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship as his top accomplishment.
“My biggest accomplishment was certainly qualifying for the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2014 and 2015,” Felitto said. “I will always look back on those two achievements as motivating factors that helped get me to the next level.”
The scary part about Felitto is that he has one year of high school eligibility remaining. What Felitto has accomplished his first three years would be tough for many to do in four.
If Felitto’s progression continues, the next year could be even more special.
“My goals for this season are to contend in many of the New Jersey and Met-Area tournaments,” Felitto said. “I’d love to win the high school state championship, as well as qualify for the U.S. Amateur, which is the national championship for players above 18.”
With the way Felitto has performed recently, it’s no stretch to think he will accomplish each of his goals in the coming year.
If Felitto accomplishes those goals (and he likely will), Kubinski and Notre Dame will not just be getting a student-athlete.
They’ll be inheriting a legend.