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Ethan Smith had a banner freshman season for the Mount Paran Christian golf team, setting a new team record with a 62 in the Westminster Invitational and ultimately finishing second in the area and 10th in the state.

Ethan Smith won the Westminster Invitational by shooting 10-under-par 62.

In doing so, he broke the record for the lowest single round in the history of Mount Paran Christian’s boys golf program.

It was the one of many highlights that included a tie for second at the Green Island Country Club where he was named all-tournament after shooting 70. Smith also finished third with a 71 in the Georgia High School Invitational at Atlanta Athletic Club, and he earned all-area honors after shooting 72 to finish second.

Not bad for a 15-year-old freshman.

Smith topped off his season by leading Mount Paran to an eighth-place finish at the Class A Private state tournament. Individually, Smith shot rounds of 75 and 73 to finish 10th and was named to the Class A Private all-state team.

For his efforts, he is the 2021 Cobb County Boys Golfer of the Year.

“Every time Ethan tees it up, you know it is going to be a good round,” Mount Paran coach Scott Varner said.

Varner said he was amazed at how good Smith was at managing his emotions while on the course.

“His demeanor carries himself,” Varner said. “He’s got a different mentality than a lot of kids. You don’t see him quit in any way, shape or form.”

Smith said his calm demeanor is because of his ability to focus on the task at hand.

“You have to be focused on the next shot,” he said. “You can’t get ahead of yourself about what happened behind you. Stay in the moment and focus on one shot at a time.”

Smith began playing golf at a young age and he started to play competitively at 9 years old. He attributed his love of golf to his father, who first inspired him to pick up a set of clubs.

“I have played golf since Day 1,” Smith said. “My dad and I would always go out to a country club, and it would be me and him every day, all night.”

It seems to have paid off, as Smith still has a lot of untapped potential. Varner said he has high expectations for his budding star.

“I know he can grow into a vocal leader,” Varner said. “I know he can lay down some expectations for the rest of our guys.”

Smith said he is up for the challenge, knowing that he is going to set the tone of the Mount Paran program for the years to come. He also has big plans for his future.

“I’d love to have an athletic scholarship to a Division I school, and three state titles on top of that.” Smith said.

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