Westover No. 1 golfer and the school’s first Region 1-AAA champion in nearly two decades, Jerrell Hubbard, center, smiles after signing his letter-of-intent Wednesday to play next season for Paine College as he’s joined by his mother, Lynell, left, and sister, Jenell. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ALBANY — Jerrell Hubbard knows that Paine College golf coach Herman Belton is a scratch golfer.
Now the Westover grad is ready to show Belton that he can be one, too.
Hubbard signed a full scholarship with the Lions on Wednesday, becoming the first Westover golfer to receive a full ride to college — and Hubbard is ready to prove he belongs with Belton and the rest of the Paine golfers.
“Coach (Belton) shoots 68 on a regular day, so he will be able to teach me a lot of stuff I don’t know,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard, who won Westover’s first Region 1-AAA championship in nearly 20 years this past season, met Belton for the first time last month in Augusta during the GHSA state tournament, but it was a day where everything seemed to go wrong for the Patriots’ top golfer, who shot a disappointing and uncharacteristic 80.
“I want to prove to (Belton) that I am a scratch golfer,” Hubbard said Wednesday after signing his letter-of-intent in the Westover media center. “That day (at the state tournament) I got bad breaks everywhere I went, but that’s golf. He knew I had bad breaks because I hit good shots all day, but the ball just kept running off the green, and then it would run 20 yards behind the green, hit a cart path and roll behind a tree.”
Westover coach Mitch Carthon said that Belton was able to look past the bad breaks.
“We rode in the golf cart together, and after about five or six holes (Belton) said to me, ‘I’ve seen enough. He has the right stuff,’ ” Carthon said.
Hubbard, a four-year letterman for the Patriots and a member of the 2012 Albany Herald All-Area Golf Team, led his team to back-to-back appearances in the state tournament and will be tough to replace at Westover.
“He brings a lot to Paine,” Carthon said. “He brings dedication. He brings hard work. He sets an excellent example and is a good student, and people follow that. He meant a lot to this program. I wish we could clone him and bring another player just like him to the team next year.”
Hubbard will major in biology at Paine, where he plans to stay for two years before transferring to Savannah State and earning a degree in marine biology.