LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant men's tennis program has received commitments from four newcomers set to attend Covenant this fall. Tyler Kelly, Ben Luke, Chris Morton, and Cameron Cortman are prepared to join the Scots' tennis roster and head coach John Hirte beginning in the fall of 2018.
"I am very excited about the addition of these four young men to our tennis program," said Hirte about his recruiting class. "Not only are they talented tennis players who had wonderful high school careers, but they are extremely diligent and well-rounded students. I'm grateful for the opportunity to assist them in reaching their full potential as student-athletes, and most importantly, as young men continuing to follow after Christ as His calling for their lives."
Kelly comes to Covenant from Douglasville, Ga., where he recently graduated from Chapel Hill High School. He was a four-year letterwinner in tennis for the Panthers, going 40-18 as the No. 1 singles player all four years of high school, and leading Chapel Hill to back-to-back state tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018. Kelly has been ranked as high as No. 50 in the state of Georgia (TennisRecruiting.net). Kelly was also a standout off the tennis court as he served as Senior Class President and graduated 10th out of 304 students in his class.
"In addition to attending a school that kept faith at the center, I wanted to attend a college rich in academic rigor and athletic tradition," said Kelly about his decision to attend Covenant. "Covenant provides me with the opportunity to obtain a meaningful degree that will prepare me for my career while developing my tennis skills in a competitive environment. I am excited to meet new people and grow in my faith with those that have the same desire."
Kelly plans to study business with a concentration in human resources.
Luke comes to the Mountain from Greenwood, S.C., where he was a four-year standout on the Greenwood High boys' tennis team. He was a four-time all-region selection and earned Region Player of the Year honors his junior season in 2017. Luke was also selected for the South Carolina All Star North/South Tennis Tournament in Myrtle Beach this spring.
"At the beginning of my college search, I was very unsure where I'd end up. Upon visiting Covenant, I was struck by the genuine warmth of the student body and the friendliness of the staff. In addition, the opportunity to join the tennis team was a big plus," Luke said. "I am excited about many things, especially the opportunity to play tennis on the collegiate level. Also, I am really excited about a new experience – meeting new people, discovering a new area, and learning what new things God has in store for me."
Luke intends to major in physics.
Morton joins the Scots as a recent honors graduate from Science Hill High School (Tenn.). During his senior season, Morton was voted first team all-conference and helped lead Science Hill to D1 AAA district and region titles, along with beating archrival Tennessee High School-- Tennessee's first loss in 4 years. Morton was also a region finalist in singles.
"I chose to come to Covenant because I really liked the friendly atmosphere," said Morton on his decision about Covenant. "I felt comfortable as soon as I walked onto campus. I also really like the tennis team and the location of the school. Coach Hirte had a big influence on me coming to Covenant. I am excited to meet new people and build new relationships. I'm coming in not knowing anybody, and it will be fun experiencing different people. I am also excited for tennis, since I am a very competitive person."
Morton will be pursuing a degree in computer science, with a concentration in cyber security.
Cortman joins the Scots after finishing up his high school career at Hebron Christian Academy (Ga.). Chosen as an all-area performer in 2017, Cortman played No. 1 singles for the Lions this past season, leading them to the GHSA State Tournament. He was awarded the Athlete of the Year award at Hebron, given each year to one senior who demonstrates excellence in many different areas. Off the court, Cortman was president of the student outreach program and was presented with the Top Service Award for his community service hours.
Cortman stated about his decision to attend Covenant, "I really wanted to attend a college that would push me to grow stronger in my faith, which Covenant really stood out to me as a college that pursues this mindset wholeheartedly, and I also wanted to play tennis. I can't wait to make lifelong friendships and to grow not only as a person, but also as a follower of Christ.
Cortman is planning to pursue the 3:2 engineering program at Covenant, with a focus in civil engineering.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTS
Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information. To receive text alerts with score updates or e-newsletters, click here