The Cartersville High boys golf program gets plenty of acknowledgement for its success in the Class 4A state tournament each of the past two seasons. But Canes head coach Reggie Perkins is doing some impressive work on the girls side, too.
The clearest example of that is having his only two seniors from this year’s team sign to play collegiately. Not only did Hannah Rhodes follow in Addie Evans’ footsteps, when she decided to join the Truett McConnell golf team, but also both managed to find the opportunity to continue their athletic career at their dream school.
Evans had already decided to attend Millsaps College in Mississippi before realizing she could play for the school’s golf program. Rhodes was a little bit more aware of the possibility of joining the Bears, having spoken to Truett McConnell’s head coach during the summer prior to her senior year.
Even still, Rhodes wasn’t really sure if she wanted to pursue collegiate golf until her final season with the Canes was winding down.
“I already felt like I was really supposed to go to the school,” Rhodes said of Truett McConnell. “It kind of all just fell into place that I could play golf there, and then [the coach] offered me a scholarship. I was like, ‘Wow, this is is awesome.’”
She added, “We had talked the summer going into my senior year about it a little bit, when I went to go tour there. He was considering recruiting me. … I ended up reaching out to him, and he was like, ‘Yeah, come up and hit for us.’ I went up there, and he said it would be a great fit.”
Part of the reason Rhodes believes she will be an asset to the Bears is her ability to build friendships. Her hope is that even if she’s not instantly one of the better players on the team, that she can still contribute in making the team better in other ways.
“I think that I can get along with pretty much anybody easily,” Rhodes said. “I think that’s a way I can help the team build better unity.”
Perkins has seen Rhodes’ personality provide a lift to those around her during her two years with the Canes.
“She’s going to work to continue to get better, but she’s going to keep you laughing and keep the team upbeat,” Perkins said. “We’re going to miss her. She’s not very big, but she’s got a big personality. She’s fun to be around.”
Rhodes said she started playing golf for a brief period, when she was younger. However, the sport didn’t really stick. She tried out for Cartersville her junior season and quickly fell in love.
“The improvement was insane over a few months,” Rhodes said. “I kept at it, and it was crazy how quickly I improved at it.”
She seems to think some of that has to do with never really feeling much pressure in the game. It also helps to have coaches like Perkins and teammates like Evans to lean on.
“He’s just been great, and his encouragement has been awesome,” Rhodes said of Perkins. “Our female team is pretty small, but I definitely made connections with the girls in the past two years.”
Now, Rhodes will join a rather large group at Truett McConnell. The Bears had 18 women listed on their 2018-19 roster.
Her and Evans will join Class of 2017 product Lindsey Bonner, who plays at York College in Pennsylvania, as former Canes Perkins has sent to the next level. While he enjoys seeing his golfers succeed in high school, Perkins takes a lot of pride in seeing his pupils continue competing in college.
“They were my only two seniors this year, and they’re both going to play golf in college” Perkins said. “So that’s exciting. Obviously, Lindsey is up there doing good. It’s kind of cool that they’ll be spread all across the country, playing golf and getting to enjoy the things that they enjoy doing.”