The Recruitment and Commitment of Preston Burton


Henry Burnett

Charlottesville High School Athletics is filled with extraordinary student athletes that work hard every day to achieve excellence for their team and the school. CHS Golf in particular accomplished great feats this past season such as placing first in the regional tournament for the first time in school history and placing fourth in the state tournament. The team was led by five seniors, but Preston Burton led the way for the squad. Burton is the only student-athlete in the school that has committed and signed to play at the next level. Earlier this fall he verbally committed to the William and Mary Tribe, then on National Signing Day (November 9th) he signed his letter of intent with the rest of many student athletes across the country. On that day he became the first athlete to do so in recent years.

Burton grew up playing all sorts of sports, but his favorite was baseball. At around 13 Burton realized his love for golf, and that this was something he wanted to pursue, and luckily golf was what he was best at. While becoming quite serious in golf and growing his intentions to play the sport in college, a lot of sacrifices and work needed to be done. Along with the pretty rigorous high school golf schedule, which consisted of practice every day starting on August 1 (before school even starts) along with numerous summer practices and tournaments on the weekdays after school. To receive interest from college recruiters it was important that Burton also went around the country and played in large tournaments, where he met coaches and began to receive attentiveness. Many schools gave Burton some recognition, but the schools that pursued him the most were the ones he said “[he] showed interest back.” Much of his recruiting involved email and phone calls with coaches, scheduling visits, talking about scholarship potential, and his future golf schedule. Burton’s long and intense recruiting process finally finished when he committed to the University of William & Mary.

Although many schools showed interest in PB, he stated that “the decision was not very hard.” William and Mary has a fairly successful track record, and have placed really well in many of their tournaments so far such as 2nd in the East Carolina Ironwood Collegiate. Burton also loved the Tribe because of the proximity to home, being only two hours away from Charlottesville and in-state. Coach Pemberton of the team was also a factor in Burton’s commitment. PB said that he is a very “competitive” coach with a lot of knowledge to pass down to him. Another important aspect was cost, and William and Mary would ultimately offer him the most amount of scholarship opportunities making it more affordable. Lastly Burton loved the area of Williamsport, with the overall good weather (the best out of good other offers from top academic schools) and good courses/facilities that he would have access to. William and Mary stuck out to Burton, and made his decision quite easy to finalize.

After an extremely successful year on the high school team, such as finishing first in the regional tournament by an outstanding 10 strokes and finishing first in the state tournament shooting a 69, three under the ideal score (par), Burton put the cherry on top with his commitment and signing to play at the next level. Burton said the most exciting part of the whole process was knowing that his decision will “completely change [his] future.” He was really excited to have the opportunities he did. Growing up, many athletes look to complete this goal of playing at the collegiate level and beyond. Burton is the perfect example of this at Charlottesville High School, and hopefully many more are to follow in the years to come.