LaGrange High water skier Greg Terry is heading to Alabama in the fall but has unfinished business with the Masters tournament at Callaway Gardens first

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, March 1, 2023

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West Georgia is home to the biggest annual water ski and wakeboard tournament at the Masters at Callaway Gardens each year during Memorial Day weekend since 1959. This year’s competition might have a local flavor. LaGrange High’s Greg Terry is a world-class water skier for his age group and has eyes on qualifying for the big competition in his backyard.

“I want to compete in the junior Masters tournament at Callaway Gardens because its the biggest in the world,” Terry said. 

Terry has been on the water for most of his life. His parents introduced him to water skiing at a young age, and Terry showed an aptitude and love for the sport that has blossomed in the subsequent years. 

“I first got on the water when I was two (years old), but I did not start taking it seriously until I was about 10,” Terry said. “When I went to my first tournament with my mom in 2014, I realized this was a lot of fun, and I knew I could compete at a high level.”

Water skiing runs in the family. Both of his parents are avid water skiers and introduced him to the sport and the art of slaloming. They passed off their love of slaloming on him, and it is the style of water skiing he has stuck with over the years  — finding it more enjoyable than tricks and jumping.

“I have tricked a little bit but never took it that seriously because I think slaloming is more fun,” Terry said.

Terry will be taking that love of slaloming to the University of Alabama in the fall. He will be a member of the water ski team there and already feels a natural connection to the coach and program.

“I feel like the environment at Bama is right for me,” Terry said, “I have already built a good relationship with people over there. I have skied with the coach over there, and I’ve gotten to know him pretty well too.”

Terry is excited for opportunities at the next level but had unfinished business at the junior level first. He has national tournaments on the schedule for this year and is looking to show he belongs near the top of the pantheon of junior water skiers.

“I have been to five or six national tournaments,” Terry said. “I plan to go to more. My highest finish was fourth in 2019, and I want to improve on that.”

Terry has matched up against some of the top talent in the United States and on occasion, the world. It is an experience like no other for the LaGrange senior.

“Sometimes it’s surreal and sometimes it’s like oh, they are just like any normal human being,” Terry said. “I’m good buddies with a lot of them and have known some of them for years.” 

During the spring, summer, and fall, odds are you will find Terry on the water somewhere. During the winter and early spring period, he suited up for the LaGrange tennis team. He has been an instrumental part of the Granger tennis team and has formed the team’s no. 1 doubles team this year. Unfortunately, his run as a Granger tennis player came to an end on Tuesday as he looks to focus on water skiing before departing for college.

“I didn’t realize how bittersweet it would be,” Terry said. “I have made a lot of great memories with the LaGrange tennis team.” 

Terry will be back on the water competing in the coming weeks and months. 

“There are two Masters qualifying tournaments down in Florida in May, and I plan to compete in them,” Terry said. “Whoever finishes in the top six in those tournaments qualifies.”

His expectation is that he will get one of those spots at the junior Masters in late May and put on a show in front of a home crowd.