Harlem High School golfer Ben Gardner was able to do something that Kim Chambers hasn’t seen since he began coaching golf at the school in 2005.
On Friday in the high school’s media center, Gardner signed to play golf for Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga.
After contacting the school visiting the north Georgia campus, it was a done deal for the senior, who has led the Bulldogs to a 4-1 record in the 2013 season.
“When I visited up there, something kind of made me want to go there. Just an at-home kind of lifestyle,” said Gardner of the school, which participates in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ (NAIA) Southern States Athletic Conference.
“We got to doing research on him and realized he could help us,” said Bears’ head coach Dusty Rogers.
“We’ve got a young program and only graduate one senior this year, so we’ve got a lot of players coming back. But I think he’s a player who’s going to come in and make an impact his freshman year.”
Gardner wants to compete right away for a roster spot and make an impression while he attends.
“I’d like to accomplish something, leave my mark there,” Gardner said.
How long he stays might be determined by academics, not athletics.
“I really want to go into mechanical engineering, but I know Truett doesn’t have that type of program,” he said.
“I’m hoping to establish myself and transfer somewhere else later.”