MERIDIAN, Miss. Eli Mitchell began playing golf when he was five years old.
“I just came out with my dad, just hitting balls every now and then," Mitchell said. "Then when I was about nine, ten years old I started playing more and doing it more competitively.”
As Mitchell began taking golf more seriously, he improved and earned himself a spot on Lamar’s varsity golf team as a sixth grader.
“I had a lot of seniors that I was playing with. I learned a lot from them and they kind of helped me out along the way," Mitchell shared. "They helped me become a better golfer and just better all around.”
Mitchell has been part of four consecutive state championships with the Raiders golf team and also won two individual state championships of his own.
While winning state championships was a big achievement, there is one specific golf achievement that sticks out in Mitchell's mind.
“Winning the club championship out here (at Northwood Country Club)," Mitchell shared. "Just because of all the history Northwood has and all the competition in the club championship.”
Northwood General Manager Bill Pomeroy shared how impressive it was for Mitchell to beat out over 50 people for the club championship.
"It’s very much like a rookie going out and playing with a Tiger Woods or somebody that’s won a major at the PGA Tour level," Pomeroy explained, "It’s the same way here just on another level so it’s always very impressive for a junior to win a tournament like that.”
Mitchell's success away from the golf course is also very important to him. He is enrolled in several Advanced Placement and dual enrollment courses and currently holds a 3.47 GPA.
Mitchell is also very active in the community through Leadership Lauderdale and Eagle Scouts, is a student council representative and is in Beta Club, National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.
One of Mitchell's biggest accomplishments was signing to continue his golf career at the University of South Alabama, something he has been working towards since he was 12.
“It feels good just to have accomplished what I’ve always wanted to accomplish," Mitchell explained. "It feels good to know that I can do whatever I put my mind too."
While people think of golf and good grades when they hear the name Eli Mitchell, they also think of his character and the integrity he possesses.
“When I think of Eli I don’t necessarily think of academics and his golf game. I think of who he is and who his family is, the people that they are...I think that says who Eli is," Pomeroy said. "He is going to go on and do great things at South Alabama but I hope he does come back to Meridian often."
Mitchell plans to study civil engineering at South Alabama with the goal of being a project manager after college.