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Taking a swing for the Buffs… Hampton’s Owens inks to play golf for Milligan University

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
MILLIGAN – Hampton’s Josh Owens was equally a great athlete for the Bulldogs with either a baseball on the diamond or a golf club on the links but when it came to making a decision to what he wanted to do collegiately, Owens felt like golf would be his focus for the next four years.

On Thursday at Milligan University, Owens officially put ink to paper on a National Letter of Intent to play golf for the Buffs and Coach Tony Wallingford.

Owens said Milligan was a pretty easy sale as he was already had the school high on his list.

“It was a pretty easy decision because it was the first school that I was really interested in,” Owens shared. “Throughout my senior season, Justin (Lyons) who was my coach really helped me to get to know the coach here.

“I visited one time and decided then that this is where I wanted to be.”

When deciding to play, Owens saw more than golf being something that he wanted from his college experience and he will be counting on Milligan University to open doors in other avenues.

“I know that over a four-year period I will get better at golf but more than that I feel that I will make a lot of connections here and become a better person for it beyond golf,” Owens shared.

Owens was a talented baseball player for Coach Nicholas Perkins at Hampton but spent quite a bit of time his senior season on the sidelines with an injured back.

Still, he was in the mix during the regionals that almost carried the Bulldogs to an upset of University High.

Owens was asked why that he chose to go the route of playing golf rather than baseball in college.

“I saw myself for a four-year period enjoying golf more. I feel like over four years that I could have possibly gotten burnt out in baseball but I knew that I could go golf for 10 years if I had to and I wouldn’t have gotten tired of it,” commented Owens.

Owens knows that the college level will be a lot more taxing and challenging than high school, especially from a mental standpoint.

“Probably more the mental side than anything,” Owens responded when asked about the challenge. “It’s more serious than high school so I have to be better focused and it’s 18 holes now instead of nine so I will have to be focused on the whole 18 since it’s nine more holes than high school.”

For first-year Hampton coach Justin Lyons, having Owens sign will add credibility to the Hampton program and hopefully help the program to grow even more.

“I am so proud of him. It’s my first year of coaching him and just to be able to work with him and his work ethic. I can tell him all I want to but his work ethic these kids give me. Josh spills it out and puts it all in and that is a testament to him,” Lyons shared after his ace athlete signed his paperwork.

“I can talk to anybody in the world and if the work ethic is not in it, then it won’t go anywhere. I hope this is a wake-up call that if we put in the work then we can go on and on. It has actually brought out two more golfers.”

The one thing that Lyons could always count on from Owens was the work ethic that didn’t just stop after one, two, or three attempts at correcting something about his play.

“If I tell him to do something then it’s not just one swing, it’s many, many swings until he gets it right. You have to play consistently to get it right and Josh has that type of work ethic.”