Elmore County’s ‘best and brightest’ nominated for annual award

Published 11:16am Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another name will be added to list of winners May 7 as Wetumpka plays host to the Joe Sewell Memorial Award Banquet.
“This is a splendid group of young people,” said Dr. Jeff Langham, this year’s Sewell committee vice chairman and superintendent of Elmore County Schools. “It’s always a pleasure working with the Joe Sewell Award Committee. It reminds me of the quality of young people that we have throughout Elmore County.”
The finalists were selected not just from the quartet of Elmore County Schools – Wetumpka, Stanhope Elmore, Holtville and Eclectic – but from Tallassee High, Edgewood Academy and New Life Christian.
“Consistently, across the board, the committee was impressed by a number of students,” said Langham. “These students who have, in their short lives, a long series of accomplishments and leadership qualities.”
The award was established in 2005 to recognize outstanding high school senior athletes in Elmore County who have consistently represented the highest ideals of Christian leadership. Each year, one male and one female senior from Elmore County high schools are chosen for the top honor – the Joe Sewell Memorial Award and $2,500 John Sewell Scholarship.
Male and female category winners are also selected for academics, athletics, leadership, and church, community, and character, with each student receiving a $750 scholarship.
The 2013 Sewell Award finalists are:
•Morgan Bazzell, Stanhope Elmore High School – cheerleading
•Cody Betzhold, New Life Christian Academy – baseball, basketball, football
•Jordan (JoJo) Bridges, Wetumpka High School – cheerleading
•Colton Campbell, Holtville High School – baseball, basketball, football
•Maggie Collier, New Life Christian Academy – softball, volleyball
•Allyson Davenport, Elmore County High School – basketball, cheerleading, soccer, track
•Jacob Dean, Tallassee High School – cross country, golf, soccer, track
•Sydney Dixon, Wetumpka High School – softball
•Shelby Figurin, New Life Christian Academy – basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball
•Cody Hartzog, Stanhope Elmore High School – football, wrestling
•Demetrius Hooks, Wetumpka High School – soccer
•Dylan Ingram, Edgewood Academy – baseball, football
•Logan Jozwiak, New Life Christian Academy – baseball, basketball, football
•Richard King, Wetumpka High School – soccer, cross country
•Erin Norris, Edgewood Academy – basketball, softball, track, volleyball
•MaKayla Pickron, Elmore County High School – basketball, softball, volleyball, weight lifting
•Hannah Ray, Holtville High School – softball
•Tia Robinson, Tallassee High School – cheerleading
•Damon Rowe, Elmore County High School – football, weight lifting
•Maria Ruiz de Olano, Holtville High School – volleyball, cross country
•Corbin Shaw, Stanhope Elmore High School – baseball, football
•Carter Singleton, Elmore County High School – basketball, power lifting, soccer, track
•Justin Smith, Holtville High School – baseball, golf
•Mallory Smith, Stanhope Elmore High School – cheerleading
•Don Speake, Tallassee High School – baseball, basketball, cross country
•Chandler Thornton, Edgewood Academy – basketball, cheerleading, softball, track, volleyball
•Samantha Williams, Tallassee High School – volleyball
•Hunter Wayne Wilson, Edgewood Academy – baseball, basketball, football, track
“I’m proud of our school system,” said Langham. “It’s also a pleasure to get to work with our private school partners as well. It’s a great collaborative effort on all our parts and a great opportunity to see all that this county has to offer.”
This year’s banquet speaker will be Dr. John Ed Mathison, who served for 36 years as senior minister of Frazier Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He currently works with the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries.
Doug Amos, assistant athletic director for media relations and marketing at Faulkner University will serve as emcee. Amos is also co-host of The Gilmore Ford Tailgate Show each weekday on Fuzion 100 in the River Region
The banquet will be May 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wetumpka Civic Center. Tickets can be purchased for $20 each until April 21 at River Bank and Trust on U.S. Highway 231 in Wetumpka or by visiting the website at www.joesewellaward.org to download a ticket order form. After April 21, tickets are $25 each while supplies last.
Along with the senior finalists, the committee highlights freshman who are shining stars at their schools.
Joe Sewell 2013 9th Grade Certificate Winners are:
Edgewood Academy
Emilee Ellis (F)
Jordan Roberts (M)
Christian Smith (M)
Katie Mack (F)
Elmore County High School
Elissa Brown (F)
Shannon Darnell (M)
Chase Thomas (M)
Josh Wilson (M)
Holtville High School
Breelyn Buck (F)
Kayla Taylor (F)
Brandon Keith Dunn (M)
Tyler Brooks Hall (M)
New Life Christian Academy
Cyan Carroll (F)
Jay Wainwright (M)
Julianne Wilkes (F)
Michael Talley (M)
Stanhope Elmore High School
Bethany Pate (F)
Kathryn Little (F)
Kyle Hardy (M)
Casey Brumbeloe (M)
Tallassee High School
Robby Lynch (M)
Steven Turner (M)
Zaesha Floyd (F)
Emily Claire Stevenson (F)
Wetumpka High School
Ryan Crockett (M)
Katelyn Carswell (F)
Laken Watson (F)
Bishop Whatley (M)
Additionally, the award serves to honor the legacy of Joe Sewell, a native of the Titus community who established a very successful baseball career in the Majors from 1920-1933 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.
Sewell holds two Major League Baseball records, including the lifetime record for fewest strikeouts in his 14-year career with only 114 in 7,132 at-bats. It is also his outstanding character and leadership that serve as the foundation of this award.
His cousin John Sewell, for whom the top scholarships are named, loved sports and spent much of his free time coaching and helping young people. Both men left a legacy in Elmore County that youth and adult alike can emulate.

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