The best athletes to ever attend Athens Drive

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Josh Hamilton was selected first overall in the 1999 MLB Draft.

Ryan Silver, Assistant Sports Editor

Athens Drive High School (ADHS) was founded in 1978, and has produced many outstanding athletes in its 42 years. Names from recent classes as well as older ones have had major successes in their athletic careers. From high school stars to professional athletes, these are some of the greatest athletes to ever attend ADHS. 

Josh Hamilton, ‘99 baseball: Hamilton is one of the most notable people to graduate from Athens. As a senior, Hamilton recorded a .529 batting average, 13 home runs and 35 RBI. Following high school, Hamilton entered the MLB draft where he was taken with the first overall pick by Tampa Bay. He went on to make 5 MLB all-star teams and won the AL MVP in 2010. 

Hanna Malik, ‘20 women’s basketball: Malik, a recent graduate, led the state of NC in 3-pointers made in both her sophomore and junior seasons. She averaged over 18 points per game for ADHS, was a four-time all-conference player and currently plays for Washington and Lee University. 

Grace Hunter, ‘15 women’s basketball: Hunter holds the ADHS school record for career points and recorded a 52 point performance her senior year in the state semifinals. She went on to play basketball for UNC-Charlotte and NC State University.

Katherine Perry, ‘10 women’s golf: Perry was a two-time individual state champion and led Athens to two team state championships, in addition to being named conference player of the year twice. She went to UNC, where she won the ACC title, and now plays on the LPGA tour.

Adam Armour, ‘20 soccer: Armour was unable to play for the Athens Drive soccer team due to club restrictions, but has played for the U.S. youth national team and has made a name for himself on the international stage. He plays for FC Nürnberg in Germany after deferring his original commitment to Duke University. 

Peyton Smith, ‘16 lacrosse: Smith won the 2016 National Showcase at The Faceoff Academy, making him one of the top prospects in the country. Smith played 4 years of lacrosse at Marist University, becoming their top face-off player in the school’s history. Following his collegiate career, he was selected with the sixth pick in the Premier Lacrosse League draft. 

Kirsten Smith, ‘06 women’s swimming: Smith won every single race of her four year career at Athens, excluding a second place finish at regionals her senior year. She went on to win that event at the state meet and competed for the University of Florida after graduating.

Jennifer Chang, ‘18 women’s golf: Chang won the state title all four years in high school and competes for the University of Southern California. There, she was named second team All-American as a freshman and first team All-American as a sophomore. She is ranked as a top 15 amateur golfer in the world.