DAWSON, GA (WALB) - It's been a whirlwind 18 months for Bronwood native Cole Swindell.
The 31-year-old country music artist celebrated songs "Hope You Get Lonely Tonight" and "Ain't Worth the Whiskey" each reaching number one on the Billboard country charts. He then won the Academy of Country Music's Best New Artist award in April.
So you can understand why the Terrell Academy alum was such a popular person when he returned to his alma mater for the Eagles baseball team's senior day.
"I came by [Monday] and they had just started practice," he says. "It's just cool to be back. I miss these days, the glory days. It's cool to come back for senior day."
Swindell played baseball and football for the Eagles during his Terrell Academy days.
The one thing he didn't do was play a lot of music.
"I didn't ever sing here at Terrell Academy," he laughs. "I was too busy playing sports. I played everything I could here. I always loved music, but until I got to Georgia Southern, I didn't start it."
The "Chillin' It" singer met with old friends and coaches while taking the time to take pictures with fans and students.
He noticed at least one thing has changed about the diamond he played on.
"Hey, they've got a grass infield," Swindell jokes. "It looks a lot better than when I played."
Swindell won't be in Terrell County long. He drove down from Nashville Sunday, and is back on the road again for a concert Thursday night in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
"I'm heading back tomorrow, and it's just all over," he says. "We've been out with Jason Aldean on tour, and we just did our first Kenny Chesney show in San Francisco in the 49ers' stadium. It's just been a blast."
Though unable to spend much time in his home county, Swindell made it known where his loyalties lie.
On Tuesday, he ditched the blue Georgia Southern hat he's famous for wearing for a black Terrell Academy lid.
"I've got me a Terrell hat today," he smiles. "I'm giving Georgia Southern a break, and support the Terrell Eagles."
The Eagles put on a good show for their famous fan, beating Southwest Georgia Academy, 3-1.