by Bruce Strand
David Molinari, who clearly knows his way around a golf course, has been hitting fairways and his sinking putts in the classroom, too, throughout his school days.
The best golfer in District 728 this spring is Zimmerman’s valedictorian with a 4.1 GPA, leading a class of 149 students. He’s never earned less than an “A.”
“Valedictorian is something I’ve always worked for. I just thought it would be a cool thing to put on my college resume,” said Molinari, goal-oriented in both academics and athletics.
Kurran Sagan, golf coach and health education teacher, knows what makes Molinari successful.
“David is one of the most deliberate and hardest-working student-athletes I have ever been around,” Sagan assessed. “Everything he does is calculated and for the right reason.”
Molinari will attend the University of Minnesota and major in biomedical engineering. He’s leaning toward engineering as a career, with medical school also a possibility. His parents are Chuck and Kathy, and he has an older brother, Josh.
“He was an absolute pleasure to teach,” Sagan said. “Not only incredibly smart, but such a genuine human being who is willing to help where help is needed, and always do the right thing.”
Molinari’s favorite line of study is math, with AP Calculus and AP Statistics his favorite classess.
“I really enjoyed learning about the electron transport chain and the metabolic process in biology in 10th grade,” he said, when asked about a favorite school project.
Is there a least favorite class?
“Not really,” Molinari said. “Any time you’re able to learn something new, there’s always an exciting quality to it.”
Molinari’s game plan, easier said than done, is to “pay attention in class, do all your homework and put in all the time you need to understand the material.”
On the golf course, Molinari ranked second in the Granite Ridge Conference this year and averaged 78.4 for the season overall. He was fourth in the conference as a junior.
The most fun he had in high school, Molinari said, were overnight golf trips to Brainerd for tournaments at The Preserve the past two years. That’s also where he shot the two best rounds of his career, 73 as a junior (the school record) and 74 this year.
Also a basketball player, Molinari was cut from the squad as a sophomore, but, showing his usual determination, stuck with the sport and was a starter at guard every game his senior year.
Molinari said his valedictory address will “focus on doing what makes you happy, because life is too short.”
His plans for the summer are working at the Dairy Queen and “playing a lot of golf.”