Will Carswell signs

Scott and Danielle Carswell celebrate with their son, Will, who signed to continue his basketball career at Young Harris College this past Thursday. Also on hand for the ceremony were Gordon Lee assistant basketball coach Derek Roberts, Gordon Lee Middle assistant basketball coach Tony McAlister, Gordon Lee head football coach Josh Groce, Gordon Lee Middle head basketball coach Bradley Floyd, Gordon Lee principal Michael Langston, Gordon Lee athletic director Todd Windham and Gordon Lee head basketball coach Matt Smith.

At 6-foot-5 and over 200 pounds, Gordon Lee's Will Carswell has the physical tools to be a solid college tight end, especially after earning first team All-Region at the position this past fall.

However, Carswell's heart has always been set on basketball and this past Thursday, he made that dream a reality by signing with the Mountain Lions of Young Harris College.

"It means everything," Carswell said. "I've been wanting play college basketball basically my whole life. (This day) is just amazing. I really don't know how to describe it."

Carswell said the coaching staff made a big impression on him during his recruitment.

"(Head) Coach (Jeremy) Currier was awesome and (Assistant) Coach (Reggie) Anderson was awesome," he continued. "I really like the campus too. It's just a beautiful place. I haven't gotten to meet anybody on the team yet, but I know another guy who's going there, so it should be a lot of fun."

Carswell averaged 12.6 points and eight rebounds on a senior-heavy team that more than held its own against some tough competition in the new-look Region 6-A Public. He shot a blazing 61 percent from the field, led the Trojans in charges taken, and was named to the All-Region first team.

"First of all, Will is a good young man of character," Gordon Lee head coach Matt Smith explained. "He has a good work ethic, he's worked really hard and put in a lot of time on his own, both in the mornings and in training on the side. He's worked really hard for this and I couldn't be more proud of him.

"He's an example of what a Trojan should be and I'm proud to see that his hard work has paid off with him getting to play at the next level."

Carswell said he planned to bring that work ethic to the Young Harris campus in Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains.

"I've always worked hard," he said. "I know I've got to get faster and shoot a little bit better. And I also have to get stronger, but everyone has too (at the college level)."

"Once he gets in the weight room more and plays alongside higher-level kids, his game will elevate," Smith added. "It'll have to because now he'll be playing against college kids who are bigger, stronger and faster. But I think his game will improve quickly once he plays at that level of play everyday."

Carswell plans to study biology and hopes to one day become an orthopedic surgeon.

The NCAA Division II Mountain Lions, a member of the Peach Belt Conference, went 9-19 overall and 7-13 in conference play during their last full season (2019-2020).

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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