hunter smith

Hunter Smith recently achieved a longtime dream.

Smith, a senior golfer at Prince Avenue Christian School, signed a scholarship with the Georgia State golf program in November as part of the early signing period. The signing marked the culmination of a dream Smith held for practically half of his life.

When it came time for his signing, Smith celebrated in a large signing ceremony held inside the Prince Avenue Baptist Church tabernacle. He was joined by family, friends, teammates and coaches for the event.

“It's awesome,” Smith said about the celebration. “I've worked really hard to get to this point. It's just really special to have everybody here and see me sign.”

Smith said he first had dreams of becoming a college golfer after completing his first tournament. That was back when he was just 9 years old.

Considering how long he waited for the moment to arrive, Smith said he was excited to finally ink his name onto the scholarship documents.

“I feel relieved, honestly,” Smith said. “It's really nice just to get to enjoy the game.”

Jimmy Phillips, head coach of the Prince Avenue Christian golf team, spoke during the signing event.

He told the crowd that Smith will likely play some fun golf courses as a member of the Panthers.

“They play some really, really neat places,” Phillips said. “I think this past year they went to the Bahamas, so great things are ahead for Hunter.”

Of course, the program itself offered a lot to Smith besides exotic competitions.

Smith said that he and Georgia State head coach Chad Wilson had a good relationship from the jump. That helped steer him to joining the Panthers.

“First off, it was the coach,” Smith said, listing the reasons he decided to join Georgia State. “When I talked to him the first time, I just knew there was a connection that was really special. Then, the facilities as well. They have really good facilities, which really drew me to Georgia State.”

During his time at Prince Avenue Christian, Smith helped lead the Wolverines to increasing amounts of success.

The team won multiple area championships and, in 2021, Prince Avenue Christian claimed the Class A-Private state title.

Smith was among the best performers during the state tournament, totaling 153 across the two-day event.

“Hunter has been on an area championship team every year in high school,” Phillips said. “He's been a huge part of our program. I'm so excited for him. I'm so excited for our golf season in the spring and I know he will do great things when he gets to college.”

When he begins classes at Georgia State, Smith said he intends to major in business.

As for his goals with the Panthers, Smith aims to keep progressing in his game so that he can pursue his next big dream.

“My goal is to make it pro,” Smith said. “That's a high achievement but I feel like if I don't have that achievement that there is no progression, so that's my goal. I'll just see where it takes me.”

Last season, the Wolverines reached the pinnacle of the Georgia High School Association together. It was the result of a lot of hard work by the individual golfers but also the unit as a whole.

And Smith said the team’s chemistry was a major factor behind the Wolverines’ success.

Those relationships are what he’s appreciated the most during his time at Prince Avenue Christian.

“It's something special,” Smith said. “We have a great group of guys here. We're really close. It's really nice just having that team aspect. We all work really hard and we're all really close together.”

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