Ails Inks Letter of Intent to Continue Golf Career, Raising Funds for Trip
After putting together a highly-successful prep career with three consecutive trips to the state tournament, Cody Ails aims to make an immediate impact at the next level as a member of the Waldorf University men's golf team.
Ails, a Rector High School senior, signed a letter of intent with the Warriors last week.
Waldorf, located in Forest City, Iowa, competes in NCAA Division 2.
"We are very happy that Cody has decided to join the Warrior men's golf team starting in the fall," Waldorf coach Mark Clouse said. "Cody is a solid student-athlete who will make an impact both inside and outside the classroom."
A four-year varsity letter winner and member of Rector's varsity lineup, Ails qualified for the state tournament in each of his final three seasons. He earned all-state honors as a senior, placing fifth with an 86-stroke total during the state tournament in October.
Aside from playing golf in high school, Ails also has excelled on the basketball court and baseball diamond. He earned all-conference recognition in basketball during the 2014-15 and 2016-17 campaigns. Ails was Rector's starting shooting guard as a senior and lettered in his final two seasons. He is also a four-year varsity starter and letter winner in baseball, in his positions at shortstop and pitcher.
The chance to compete at the collegiate level has Ails prepared to make the most of his time at Waldorf in an attempt to further his career and ultimately play professionally one day.
"It means a lot to me to continue at the collegiate level because nobody in my family has gone to play sports at a higher level," Ails said. "This also helps me to achieve my goal to become a member of the PGA."
Ails is the son of James and Melody Ails. He plans to study sport management at Waldorf and said the size of the university, along with the opportunity offered by the men's golf program, led him to join the Warriors.
"Waldorf University offers students the ability to learn in a smaller environment so that education becomes the main priority and they offered me the opportunity to show my skills and compete for them in golf," Ails said.
Ails moved to Marmaduke in the seventh grade from Rawlins, Wyo. He transferred to Rector for his senior year, where he was the leading three-point shooter for the Cougars. "It's been a great year at Rector," Ails said, "meeting new people and trying new things."
He started playing golf at age 8 and said chipping and mid-range and short irons currently are the strong part of his game.
Ails and his mother made the 10-hour trip to Iowa in March to visit the Waldorf campus.
The Warriors have been hard at work building their incoming recruiting class. Ails becomes the sixth member of the program's 2017-18 class, joining Overland Park, Kan., recruit Jared Pheffer; McKinney, Texas, native Devin Marek; fellow Lone Star state recruit Caden McAnally from Copperas Cove, Texas; Oakdale, Minn., standout Jack Jurgensen and Clarksdale, Ariz,. native Travis Nester.
Set to join Waldorf next fall, Ails will bring a strong work ethic and focus on improving his game as he helps set the tone for a young Warriors team.
"He is motivated to continue developing his game," Clouse said. "We look forward to working with him over the next four years."
Cody Ails is one of 66 athletes from across the United States who has received a nomination to participate in the Down Under Sports program this summer in Australia.
Ails is a three-sport athlete who gained all-state honors his senior year as a golfer for the Rector Cougars. He also excels in both basketball and baseball.
The 14th annual Down Under Sports events will take place on the Gold Coast of Australia. If he is able to raise sufficient funds for the trip, Ails will depart for Queensland, Australia on June 30.
The nine-day event is designed to "use the common language of sports to bridge the continents."
"Cody is really excited that he received a nomination and would like to represent the state of Arkansas and America in a once in a lifetime chance," said his father, James Ails.
The young athlete recently signed a letter-of-intent to continue his golf career at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa. An honor student at Rector High School, he plans to obtain a degree in sport management.
He is asking friends, family and businesses to donate to help make his dream trip possible. Those who contribute qualify for two potential prizes -- an all-expenses-paid trip to Australia and Hawaii or a five-day cruise.
Ails said the total cost of the trip will be about $6,000. Persons who wish to contribute may contact the Ails family at 870-597-1208.