DeKalb County High School senior, Grant Goodwin, will continue his golf career on the collegiate level. On Thursday, Goodwin signed scholarship papers with Tennessee Wesleyan, an NAIA school located in Athens, Tennessee.
Goodwin won 83 matches in his four-year career at DCHS, which is the most of any golfer during the tenure of current golf coach, Chris Vance, who has guided the program since 2001. Goodwin also owns ten team records and ten individual records with the program. He becomes the third DCHS golfer in the last four years to move on to the collegiate level, joining Madison Denman and Tara Cantrell.
Goodwin helped lead the Tiger golf team to a program-high 49 match victories during the 2007 season. The team also won District and Region Tournament championships, and earned a berth to the TSSAA State Tournament, where they finished in third place. In Goodwin's four years on the squad, the Tigers were 156-61-5 (.720 winning percentage) as a team.
Goodwin, the son of Joey and Kathy Goodwin of Smithville, said he chose Wesleyan over a handful of other school which showed interest. "Lambuth University in Jackson made a really good offer, but Wesleyan really stood out because I liked the campus. It's a small school, and the atmosphere there reminds me of Smithville. I really liked that."
The senior is excited to take his game to the next level. "It's always been my dream. When I was in Middle School, I quit everything else to concentrate on golf. I wanted to get a scholarship and I've accomplished that."
Coach Vance has seen much improvement in Goodwin's game during his time at DCHS, and believes he will do well at the next level. "Grant came in his freshman year with aspirations of playing well and winning tournaments and championships. He realized his senior year, or maybe even at the end of his junior year, that he needed to pick up his work ethic. He did that, and it payed dividends for him."
Vance says Wesleyan is a good school, particularly from an academic point of view, and thinks Goodwin has an exciting opportunity ahead of him."Tennessee Wesleyan is a very good school, education wise. They have a good golf program, and their coach is very excited to have Grant coming. He's very optimistic about the impact Grant can have on their golf team."
Eddie Hobson, who has worked with Goodwin on improving his game, sees many good traits in Goodwin, and believes he will excel in whatever he does."His character is impeccible. He's an excellent student. I don't believe anyone has ever had any trouble out of Grant, at all. If I ever had a son -- which I was very fortunate to have two daughters -- I think Grant would be a good role model for a son. Grant has always told me, he wants to be an athlete, but at the same time, he wants to be a good student-athlete, and I think he should be commended for that."
Tennessee Wesleyan is a four-year school, and is a member of the Appalacian Athletic Conference. The golf team's head coach is Mike Poe. The school enrolls roughly 880 students.