Conway senior golfer Matthew Stephens will continue his golfing career at the next level as he signed his letter of intent to attend Hendrix College this fall.
Stephens follows his grandfather’s footsteps to play a varsity sport at Hendrix.
His grandfather, Dr. Paul McChristian, a 1969 graduate of Hendrix, played center for the Warriors from 1965 to 1969 as a 6-foot-4 center.
Following his admission to the private college in December, Hendrix named Stephens a Provost Scholar in January, which provides him full tuition.
In March, Stephens also received the Arkansas Governor’s Distinguished Scholar Award.
Stephens is a three-year letterman for the Conway boy’s golf team and has appeared in more than 30 tournaments for the Wampus Cats.
Stephens has competed in the Arkansas 6A State Golf Tournament in 2018, 2019 and 2020, earning all-conference honors in 2019.
He is set to graduate May 22 from Conway High School with distinguished high honors and is currently ranked sixth in his graduating class of 647 with a 4.33 GPA.
Taking over as the Conway High School boys golf coach two years ago, Kent Manion spoke on Stephens’ character Friday at his signing celebration at the Centennial Valley Country Club.
“The first thing I realized about Matthew is he is amazing at multitasking,” Manion said “It blew my mind how much he could do and do each of those things well. With the amount of things that goes on on a daily basis to be able to still come out and practice, take care of the ACT program and prepare for his own stuff that he was doing. It blew my mind.
“I remember one day we were out working on putting and he said he had to leave in 15 minutes. I asked him why and he said he had to prepare for the ACT for himself, he had to go to band practice, tutor two kids in the ACT and then study for an AP physics test the next day. I told him to just go. That kind of summed Matthew up. He had irons in all kinds of fires, but all of them burned bright.”
Manion then talked about Stephens’ desire to help others.
“I just learned that he started that ACT prep club at Conway High School and that wasn’t to make himself better,” Manion said. “That was to lift scores across the board. I’ve seen him do things with younger players. It’s a testament that we have our younger players here to support him because he has been there to support them.
“The first time I came out to play with any of the players, the first thing JP (James Patrick McCarron) said was he wanted to invite Matthew because he loves to play with Matthew. He saw Matthew was going to help and they worked together to make themself better. It was almost to his detriment. I had to pull him off the range one day because he was helping a certain female golfer who was getting ready for a round and I really needed him to focus on his own round. He’s always thinking of the other person.”
Then Manion spoke on Stephens’ work ethic.
“Matthew has had many accomplishments on and off the golf course,” Manion said. “On the golf course, I always knew he was going to give me the best he had every single day. Whether that was getting the score he wanted or not. That was whether we were practicing or at a tournament, he was going to give me his all. That was something the younger guys could look up to as an example.
Stephens thanked all who were in attendance of his signing as they helped him to get to the point of signing at Hendrix College as well as his future.
Stephens will attend Hendrix in the fall.