The Cullman Times
Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 3:29 pm
It's been real. It's been fun. It's been real fun.
And, when it comes Sylas Elliott and Eli Marty golfing for Wallace State, it's not quite over yet.
But at least when the local duo plays their last holes as Lions next spring, they'll already know what's coming next.
Both Wallace State sophomores recently signed to continue their athletic careers at four-year colleges. Elliott, a Cullman High alum, inked with Division I South Alabama, while Marty, a Good Hope grad, accepted an offer from D-II Montevallo.
The two, who've known each other since the seventh or eighth grade, got together for a photo op Tuesday morning at Cullman Golf Course to mark their accomplishments.
"It's just one step closer to reaching the highest goal I've set," Elliott said. "That's playing on the PGA Tour. I'm excited about it."
Marty, in his own low-key way, was excited as well.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "It should be fun."
Elliott, an NJCAA second-team All-American and the low medalist at last year's conference and district tournaments, ultimately chose South Alabama because of the program's coaches and facilities. He said he was most impressed with the way Jags head coach Ben Hannan treats his players like friends and family, not just an athlete at his disposal.
Elliott has had an equally strong player-coach relationship with Dan York at Wallace State. Under the Lions' longtime leader, Elliott has gained valuable tournament experience and benefitted from higher-caliber competition than he'd previously faced.
"Especially coming straight out of high school, I don't know if I'd be quite ready to go from high school to South Alabama," he said. "I think starting out at JUCO, getting two years of experience before I move on was really helpful."
Elliott, low medalist at the Wallace State Fall Invitational both seasons with the Lions, plans to study sports management.
Marty had Montevallo as an option out of Good Hope and kept in touch with the Falcons' coaches while building a solid résumé at Wallace State. The lefty made it easy for Montevallo to keep him on its radar with frequent All-Tournament performances and a spot on the NJCAA All-American third team as a freshman.
"Them showing interest in me really caught my attention," said Marty, who will study finance at his next stop. "I was like, 'Well, at least they care about me.'"
York was proud as could be the days he signed Elliott and Marty to Wallace State. Pride was still in play Tuesday, but so was another understandable emotion.
"I'm sad to be sending them away because they're the rock, the foundation of this golf team," York said. "What's more important than that other than they're great students, great players, is they're great, outstanding young men. They are a credit to Cullman County. I'm going to miss them big time."
Pictured: Wallace State sophomores Eli Marty, left, and Sylas Elliott get together for a signing photo op Tuesday at Cullman Golf Course. Marty, a Good Hope grad, and Elliott, a Cullman alum, recently signed with four-year colleges.