Considering Sam Nicholson, Kenan Yount and Paul Trotter are standout performers on the Augusta Preparatory Day School golf team, it seems appropriate to describe them with the PGA Tour slogan, "These guys are good."
The three seniors were good enough to pace Prep to the Georgia Independent Schools Association Class AAA state title in 2000, and also good enough to secure spots on college golf squads next fall.
The players announced their intentions during a gathering at Boardman Gymnasium last week. Trotter signed a letter of intent to attend Furman University on a golf scholarship, Yount will tee it up at Dartmouth College, while Nicholson is joining a strong program at Virginia Tech University.
"I've been around golf for a long time, and I don't remember a high school having three players from the same team accepted to attend Division I schools. I think some of our other seniors also will go on to play college golf," said Kevin Long, Augusta Prep's golf coach and athletic director.
The three Cavaliers honed their skills side by side, and eventually became teammates at Augusta Prep.
"We've been playing golf together at Augusta Country Club for as long as I can remember," Trotter said. "To all end up at the same school playing on the same golf team is pretty special."
Trotter considered other colleges, but Furman was his first choice. Two of his older brothers also attended the Greenville, S.C. school.
Ivy League colleges, including Dartmouth, do no offer athletic scholarships, but that wasn't a deterrent for Yount.
"It's been one of my dreams to play college golf and go to a great institution like Dartmouth," he said. "To combine those two - it doesn't get much better than that."
Yount, who was named Prep's Star Student this school year, says academics will take priority when becomes an Ivy Leaguer. He expressed confidence in his golf game, though he will work on improving his putting while playing for The Big Green in Hanover, N.H.
Nicholson also was an all-region basketball player at Prep, and expects to lower his golf scores now that he can focus on one sport. He'll need to go low in Blacksburg, Va., because the Hokies are ranked in the top 20 in the nation.
"I need to play well my freshman year," he said. "If I crack the lineup a few times and my score counts, they may give me a scholarship by my sophomore year. Having my full concentration on golf will help a lot."
With their college plans settled, Nicholson, Yount and Trotter want to close their prep careers in style.
The Cavs will attempt to win a fourth straight Region 4-AAA title this week, and next week they'll will try to seize a second state championship, which would atone for a disappointing defense at state last season.
"We've definitely got to finish strong. We need to win region and state again," Trotter said. "We didn't play very well last year, so it's time to get that state title back over here."
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