Grandson played at center to win state championship

Bill Sharp, left, vice-chairman of the Putnam Development Authority, poses with his grandson, Will Hamilton, center, and wife, Jennie after a football game. Hamilton played a huge role in North Gwinnett High School’s victory over Colquitt County in the GHSA 7A State Championship.

By Brandon Bush

A prominent Putnam County resident now has a superstar and a state champion for a grandson.

Bill Sharp, who is vice-chairman of the Putnam Development Authority and an at-large member of the Eatonton-Putnam Water and Sewer Authority, is pleased to share with everybody that his grandson, Will Hamilton, is a member of the North Gwinnett High School football team that just won the GHSA 7A State Championship and is one of four players from his team that received All-State Honors.

Hamilton, a junior at North Gwinnett who played on the offensive line as a center, played a big role in North Gwinnett’s 19-17 victory over Colquitt County High School in the state championship.

“You don’t win a championship very often,” Sharp said about his grandson’s team’s victory. “In fact, this is the first one ever for North Gwinnett.”

In addition to winning their first state title, the 2017 season was also the inaugural season of North Gwinnett’s new head coach Bill Stewart.

Sharp has a bit of history on the football field himself, playing center (just like his grandson) and linebacker in high school. He briefly played for Cumberland College as well. Although Sharp wasn’t able to attend the state championship game himself, he made sure to see Hamilton’s triumphant moment.

"[My wife] had eye surgery, so we couldn't go,” Sharp said, “but we watched it on TV, and he played a super game. The linemen don't usually get a lot of attention, so it was very impressive that they put his picture in the (AJC) newspaper, and I was very proud."

According to Sharp, Hamilton has already been recognized for his talent on the football field, and has received 10-15 invitations from colleges for him to make a visit to their campus, no doubt in the hopes of recruiting him into their football programs. Hamilton, who has a 4.0 GPA, has already made trips to visit Stanford University and Harvard University, but is not going to commit to anything until he reaches his senior year.

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