After a senior season that saw him capture his second United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship and ended with becoming the first Builder to win the Glenn Heath Shipbuilders Memorial, Ben Hunter had firmly entrenched his name in the record books for The Apprentice School golf team.
He has now topped an outstanding career by being named the 2013-14 Apprentice School Athlete of the Year. Hunter is the first golfer to win the award since current assistant coach BJ Maben shared the honor in his senior season of 2007-08. He will receive his award at the Peninsula Sports Club Headliners Night on June 16.
"This is an incredible honor for Ben and a great way to finish a record-setting career," said Apprentice School Head Golf coach Joey Maben. "Ben is very humble and that is demonstrated how he conducts himself on the golf course and in his tournament wins. He has stepped up and encouraged his younger teammates and always wants to improve as he even continues to take lessons."
Hunter, a Suffolk, Va. native, finished his career with a flurry as he won the medalist honor at the Glenn Heath Shipbuilders Memorial Tournament in early April as he helped lead the Builders to their first Glenn Heath title. He won 18 medalist titles in his career and finished with 75.7 stroke average for almost 90 rounds as a Builder. Hunter also became the first two-time United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Champion as he won it again this past October in State College, PA. He started his career as the USCAA National Champion and ended it as one.
The holder of many school records, Hunter shot the lowest round (67 as a junior), lowest two-round tournament score (141 as a junior) and has 19 rounds of par or under in his career. Hunter, who just competed in the PGA Minority Collegiate Championships in early May where he finished seventh in a predominately NCAA Division I and II field, will end his career the holder of basically every school golf record.
He was consistent throughout his career as he started each season with a win and ended three of his four years with a win. During the spring seasons, he finished in the top three in each of the final three events throughout his four years. He won the Virginia Wesleyan College Invitational and Lynchburg College Invitational on consecutive weekends as a freshman and a sophomore along with capturing the Roanoke College Invitational as a sophomore.
Hunter was named to the first team All-State College Division Golf Team by the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association as a junior, the first-time that the association had an all-state team. He was also a four-time Glenn Heath Award winner as the team Most Valuable Player.
His current lead craft instructor, Karron Bazemore, had plenty of positive words to add about Hunter's equally stellar job performance as a rigger apprentice. "Ben Hunter has what it takes to become one of our future leaders in the Rigging Department," he said. "Not only is he a hard worker, but he carries himself in a professional manner and pays close attention to detail when working his craft. Ben is exceptional at training our newer apprentices. "
After a stellar career and solid finish at the PGA Minority Collegiate Championships, one would imagine the possibility of a run at a golf career for Hunter. With his work as an apprentice, as well as on the golf course, options abound for the soft-spoken Hunter.