Isaac Charette Record Courier Feature
Charette, mom provide inspiration for KSU golf team
Record Publishing associate sports editor
Julie Charette recently paid a visit to the golf course.
She watched proudly as her son Isaac Charette competed in the Northeast Ohio Amateur Invitational, which concluded June 28 at the Country Club of Hudson.
“I did get goose bumps when I saw her,” Isaac said. “I can’t describe how awesome it was for her to come see me play.”
Having a close family member during an important occasion can make anyone emotional.
Isaac, however, probably couldn’t have imagined witnessing such a sight several months ago.
Julie was diagnosed with Stage 3 invasive breast cancer during the summer two years ago. She spent a number of days in and out of the hospital as her condition gradually became worse.
“When she had CT scans, it was a pretty bad situation,” Isaac said. “She was in really bad shape.”
Isaac, a 2008 Hudson High School graduate who also played on the high school varsity boys golf team, attended classes at Kent State and rarely picked up his golf clubs.
“I took a year off,” Isaac said. “I just went to class. I played once in a while, but not that often.”
Julie received treatment, and eventually the cancer went away.
And then something else happened the following summer. To say the news was disturbing would have been a huge understatement.
Julie had a perforated heart valve, which left her in a coma for several weeks.
“I was in a coma the entire summer. And when I eventually came out of it, I had to learn to walk and talk again,” she said.
When Julie finally woke up, Isaac was by her side. Appropriately, he got to see his mother shortly after meeting with Herb Page, the longtime Kent State University head men’s golf coach.
“That was the first thing I heard,” Julie said. “Isaac told me Herb wanted him to be on the golf team.”
Quite suddenly, everything changed. And Isaac couldn’t have been more relieved.
“After a while, she started doing a lot better,” he said. “She got some really good health care.”
Isaac felt a lot better, too. He joined the Golden Flashes’ golf team as a walk-on and made a huge impact as Kent State recently finished 20th at the NCAA Championship in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Isaac shot a respectable 74 in the final round to conclude a successful season.
“Isaac is a great story,” Page said. “He never had a place to play. He’s not a member of any country clubs, but he took advantage of this opportunity. Isaac is an inspiring story.”
Page also got some advice from his top golfer, who happened to be Isaac’s close friend and former Hudson teammate.
That would be John Hahn, who placed sixth at the NCAA Championship.
“I said, ‘Herbie, you have to look at Isaac,’” Hahn said. “He played great the entire year. I used to talk to him and we would set little personal goals. I would ask him, ‘what do you want to do in the fall?’ For him to play like he did is amazing for a walk-on. He has been great for our team.”
Isaac also credits former Walsh Jesuit golf coach and current Kent State assistant Rob Wakeling for recruiting him.
Prior to joining Kent State’s squad, Isaac knew he had the ability to play on the collegiate level.
“The Good Park Junior Tournament in Akron was my first tournament win,” he said. “That was the turning point for me. I started to realize that I am a good player.”
Isaac is majoring in accounting and has a 4.0 grade-point average. The Golden Flashes will see him continue to grow in the future, as he has three years of eligibility left.
They should have plenty of views of Julie, too.
“My mom loves coming to watch me play,” Isaac said. “I remember when she first watched me after she recovered. It brought her to tears. She’s my biggest fan.”