Austin Mills was afraid the COVID-19 pandemic had torpedoed his dream of playing golf in college.
The Jones County golf team’s season was halted after only three matches this spring when schools were closed due to the virus.
With his senior season wiped out, Mills didn’t think he would be able to impress college coaches enough to get a shot.
But he will have the chance after signing with Georgia Military College last Friday at Lake Jonesco Golf Course.
“Austin is another one of our guys who has worked really hard, so it is great to see him get this chance,” outgoing Jones County golf coach Jeff Williams said.
“He’s a good golfer and a great kid and student. I know he will do well at GMC.”
Williams is stepping down as golf coach but will continue to teach and assist with softball at JCHS. Lance Pittman has been named as the Greyhounds’ new golf coach.
Mills said he was thrilled to sign and hopes he will have a chance to go on to a four-year school on a golf scholarship after two years with the program at the Milledgeville junior college.
“That’s my dream, to go somewhere and play golf after my two years at GMC,” he said.
“Playing in college was something I was always trying for, but I didn’t really know if I would get the chance. I’m very thankful for the opportunity.”
GMC coach Charles Van Horn III said Mills should have a good chance to reach his dream if he works hard for the Bulldogs.
“We get calls from other college coaches all the time looking for guys who can move on to their programs. That’s certainly something we’ll work with Austin to help him achieve if he wants it,” he said.
Mills, who is working at Lake Jonesco this summer, said he will live at home and commute to school in Milledgeville.
“I know some others who have gone there and think I will enjoy it.”
Two Lady Hounds, Kaitlyn Brower and Emily Carter, also signed with GMC back in November, so JCHS will be well-represented in the GMC program.
“We think we’re a great fit for the students from Jones County and are glad to get another one,” Van Horn said.
Mills said he plans to begin working on a degree in physical therapy at GMC.