For all the excitement of Hilton Head Christian’s record-setting SCISA girls’ golf title last fall, Jamie Hubbard wasn’t ready to let it end there.
It did require some extra waiting, though, even making college plans that didn’t include her clubs.
Hubbard’s reward finally came Friday, when the Eagles’ No.2 player signed a national letter-of-intent to play collegiately at Montreat College, an NAIA school near Asheville, N.C.
“It’s a small school, and I like the way the campus felt when I went up and visited,” Hubbard said. The school and surrounding town, by the way, is pronounced Mon-TREAT.
She’ll join a young squad — no seniors this season or next — seeking to build after finishing 10th at its conference tournament earlier this month.
Hubbard will bring some championship experience to the program, having played a key role in HHCA’s back-to-back SCISA titles. Last October, the Eagles headed to Orangeburg Country Club less than two weeks after Hurricane Matthew and ran away to a record 29-shot margin of victory.
“It’s been a great past few years,” Hubbard said. “I feel like that team chemistry will help me transition into playing at the collegiate level.”
Getting there was a bit of a wait, though. Hubbard had no offers in the fall and was making plans to go to Anderson University — without golf — when a call in late January from Montreat coach John Sullivan invited her up for a campus visit.
“I wasn’t going to play golf,” Hubbard said, “and I kind of wished that I’d be able to. When I got to the (Montreat) campus and felt how it was and realized I’d be able to play golf there as well, that made it for me.”
Sullivan, who attended Friday’s ceremony, praised Hubbard’s “fundamentally sound” golf swing and expressed a bit of surprise that Hubbard hadn’t received any offers previously.
“When I think about that, I’m just really glad she’s going to have that opportunity,” the coach said. “She’s got incredible potential, and it would have been a shame if she had not been able to play.”
JUCO HOOPS FOR GARAY
Beaufort big man Matt Garay also is getting a chance to extend his playing days, signing to play at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, N.C.
The 6-foot-7 Garay averaged 15.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots this past season, leading the Eagles to an 11-11 record and third-place finish in Region 8-4A.