C.B. Aycock track coach Scottie Rodgers recognized Matthew Hammonds’ potential as a runner during his freshman season.
Over the course of four years, Rodgers watched the soft-spoken and modest Hammonds transformed into an elite athlete through hard work and dedication.
“He’s pretty quick, and since his freshman year, he’s worked hard. He’s a go-getter who wants it,” Rodgers said. “He works hard on the field and in the classroom.
“Each year, he got better and better, and he’s a great leader.”
And on Wednesday morning, Hammonds’ hard work and dedication finally paid off when he signed a national letter of intent to run track at the University of Mount Olive.
“It’s very exciting because I’ve worked really hard for this, and I know there’s still a lot of hard work coming,” Hammonds said.
Hammonds said UMO was the perfect fit for him. He was looking at various schools, but after UMO head coach Earl Graves reached out to him, Hammonds knew he wanted to become a Trojan.
“I found them, and then they found me,” Hammonds said.
Hammonds, who plans to major in cybersecurity, joins a program that has won seven consecutive NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas titles. Hammonds said he glad to join such an elite program.
He runs the 100m and 200m dash, as well as the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.
“It’s been fun, and it was a good starting point for my life,” Hammonds said about running track at C.B. Aycock.
C.B. Aycock assistant coach Grayling Batchelor, who is also Hammonds’ grandfather, said it has been an honor to watch his grandson grow on and off the track.
“It’s a great honor to watch him grow,” Batchelor said. “It’s been truly a blessing to watch him grow.”