Zac Tilton participated in Evans High School's graduation ceremonies last weekend, but he had to return to his old school Tuesday to put the finishing touches on some important paperwork.
Tilton signed a letter of intent to attend Kennesaw State University on a golf scholarship this fall.
"I'm a little sad to leave Evans, but I'm glad to be heading off to play college golf," Tilton said after the signing ceremony at the Evans Media center.
Friends, family, teammates from the Evans golf team and Knights golf coach Mike Bibee were on hand to give Tilton a proper send off.
Everyone was happy to see the four-year varsity player at Evans moving on to a college program, but Bibee had mixed emotions.
Evans High School's Zac Tilton is flanked by his parents, Ross and Cathy Tilton, as he signs a golf scholarship to play at Kennesaw State University.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"It's a bittersweet day," Bibee said. "I'm as proud of him as I can be, and happy that he get's to go on to the next level, but I will miss him more than any golfer I've ever had."
There's good reason why parting was such sweet sorrow - Tilton was the No. 2 player at Evans during his freshman and sophomore seasons, and was No. 1 for the Knights the past two years.
As a senior, Tilton won Region 7-AAAAA medalist honors and led Evans to the region championship.
"He can strike the ball as well as anybody I've seen in high school," Bibee said. "He manages the course well and has a good temperament. With a little more experience, his score will come down."
Tilton expects to see rapid improvement while playing with Kennesaw State, a Division II squad that competes in the Peach Belt Conference. "I'll get a chance to play and practice every day, and play quality golf courses. I think all facets of my game will improve."
The Owls have been moving up in the Division II ranks, cracking the top 20 nationally the past two years. Kennesaw will have two Evans products on the squad next season, as former Knight Kris Shephard recently signed with the Owls.
Tilton regularly blasts his tees shots past the 300-yard mark, so driving isn't his primary concern in college, unless you count maneuvering through the traffic congestion in the Atlanta area.
He would like to sharpen his short game, which would help him follow through with a short-term goal.
"I was thinking Conference Freshman of the Year is something that's not out of reach, if I play like I think I can," he says. "I'm not intimidated at all. I know I can play with them. It's just a matter of getting up there and proving it."
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