Cornett faces tough decisions for next level

By Matt Hill

     MOUNTAIN CITY- It will be a year of decision making for Johnson County senior athlete Matt Cornett.
     Probably the biggest decision Cornett will have to make is choosing a college. And the biggest problem with that might be having to pick between several fine schools.
     Cornett, a standout basketball player, track athlete and golfer for the Longhorns, has several Division I schools taking an interest in him.
     Cornett realizes there are many high school seniors in his shoes, and he hopes to standout from all the rest.
     "I just hope I can compete with the rest of the athletes that want to get a scholarship," Cornett said.
     Despite leading the Watauga Conference last season with a 23 points-per-game average, finishing third in the state high jump competition in May, and tying for first in the District Golf Tournament just recently, Cornett is not exactly a household name in East Tennessee just yet.
     In basketball, the sport where Cornett receives the most recognition, he was passed up for Watauga MVP and was left off almost every Upper East Tennessee team despite trailing only Unaka's Aaron Dugger and Sullivan East's Adam Hughes in scoring average last season.
     But Cornett has still garnered attention from at least one Southern Conference school, as well as other mid-majors.
     Cornett thinks people are starting to notice him.
     "I've worked hard over the years," Cornett said. "People are starting to take notice. I want to go to a good school and get a good education. I just want to find a good school that suits me well and see how everything goes."
     Cornett wants to play both golf and basketball in college, but he isn't going to be picky about it.
     "My first option is to play both," Cornett said. "I'll go to the best school that comes along with the best offer. I would love to do both, but I'll settle for either one.
     "I haven't ruled out any options. I'm still open to suggestions."
     If Cornett decides to play basketball in college, he will most likely be prepared after putting on a lot of muscle in the off-season. Cornett is known for his dedication in the weight room.
     "I've trained five days a week to play down low. Putting on a few pounds of muscle will help me playing down low this year," Cornett said.
     Cornett thinks that his versatility will help him with collegiate recruiters.
     "I would probably play the two or three spot in college," Cornett said.
     "Hopefully the three. I can rebound well, but I need to work on my ball-handling. I started out as a point guard, so I'm sure I can get my ball-handling back. I started at point, and now I'm playing center. I can be pretty versatile."
     Cornett's best attribute may not be found on the golf course or on the basketball floor, but rather in the classroom. He has a 3.7 G.P.A. and is ranked in the top 10 percent of his senior class.
     Cornett says that the quality of education he will be looking for is going to big for him in his decision.
     "I've never put a lot of thought in where I wanted to go to college," Cornett said. "I've decided I want to go into law. I want to go to the school that suits me well. I'll analyze the schools that give me the best chance and go with it."