PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast golfer Carter Nicholson has signed to continue his college career at NAIA Loyola University New Orleans.
Nicholson, an NJCAA All-American last year, was part of Gulf Coast's national championship golf team as a freshman under Coach Tommy Snell.
"I learned how to play golf," Nicholson said. "Coach Snell is so good at teaching people how to play. I had a good swing and could hit the ball, but I didn't know how to play golf. He really changed my game."
The Pearl River Central product had four top-10 finishes last year and made the All-Tournament team at the NJCAA District D Championship. He finished 17th at the Division II National Championship last season, and he played his final two rounds in Foley, Ala., at 3-under.
"It's a team effort, one of the few times you can say golf is a team thing," Snell said. "He shot 69-72 the last two days under tough conditions, down the stretch. The tournament was on the line, and he came through like they all did."
Loyola is coached by an MGCCC alum, Drew Goff. His women's team made it to the NAIA National Championship, where they finished 17th. One of his men's players made it to the national tournament last year.
"Coach Goff really had everything to do with it," Nicholson said. "It's a great opportunity with a new culture. The school is a great school, and I get to live in New Orleans. The courses we get to play, and the practice facilities we get to use, felt like a better opportunity than the other offers I had."
Nicholson, who lives in Carriere, has two top-10 finishes in the first four events this season. He finished tied for third at the second MACJC tournament and tied for sixth at the MGCCC Fall Invitational.
"He's just gotten better every week, every tournament, every month," Snell said. "He's gonna make a big impact on Loyola. Drew's really excited to get him. I'm not excited to lose him because he's such a great kid with a great family. I'm happy for him."
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