Thomas Graning | The Natchez Democrat Rondall Hawkins practices chipping the ball at the Duncan Park golf course June 6. Hawkins recently signed a golf scholarship to Alcorn State University.
Thomas Graning | The Natchez Democrat
Rondall Hawkins practices chipping the ball at the Duncan Park golf course June 6. Hawkins recently signed a golf scholarship to Alcorn State University.

Hawkins follows parents’ footsteps, signs to Alcorn State

Published 12:02am Saturday, June 14, 2014

NATCHEZ — Rondall Hawkins knew if he continued to work hard and stay focused, he would reach his goal.

And as he signed his letter of intent to play golf for Alcorn State University June 3, he was all of the extra hours on the course pay off.

Hawkins asked his father to play golf growing up after seeing golfers tee off at resorts on vacation.

He made up his mind that he wanted to stick with the intricate sport, and take his talent to the next level at Alcorn State.

Hawkins said he has always wanted to attend Alcorn because it is his mother and father’s alma mater.

“I’m glad I can continue on as the next generation in my family to attend Alcorn,” Hawkins said. “I feel pretty good because this was something I always wanted to do for six years. All the hard work paid off. I’m just glad I stuck with it and worked hard throughout the years.”

Hawkins has played golf for Natchez High School since he was in seventh grade, and in his final year, he was able to be one of the Bulldogs’ lead golfers with a personal best score of 89.

“I want to get that score down to the low 80s before I get to Alcorn,” he said.

Bulldogs head golf coach Jerry Baldwin said he has seen a lot of improvement in Hawkins throughout the years.

“When he started in seventh grade, he didn’t play golf very well, and he’s gotten better and better and worked really hard on his stroke,” Baldwin said. “He has a really pretty swing. But golf is so much more mental, he has the mechanics down, but it was good to see this year he progressed mentally and he could handle the game mentally.”

Baldwin said he is confident Hawkins will succeed as a student athlete.

“He’s been with me a long time and I’m going to miss him,” Baldwin said. “But I’m excited for him. He’s a smart guy. He’ll improve with his golf and he’ll do well in school.”

Hawkins said he doesn’t have to report to Lorman until the fall, but he’ll be hitting the green a lot throughout the summer in preparation.

Baldwin said he’d be ready to head to the course whenever Hawkins calls.

“We’ll play, I’ll see him on the course,” Baldwin said. “You have to play consistently to get better. And he will get better.”

Alcorn State head coach Lynette West-Smith, also a Natchez native, said she believes Hawkins will fit in well with the team.

“Rondall is determined, dependable and a good team player with strong leadership talent,” Smith said “I jumped at the opportunity to recruit a local player and I know he will be a great asset to the team.”

Hawkins is the son of Rondall Hawkins Sr. and Cylynthia Hawkins.

 

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