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untitledSince the Sewell Awards program was established in 2005, Elmore County High School has produced a significant number of overall winners. Six of the 18 winners in the last nine years have been ECHS students.

Holley, Smith earn top Sewell Awards

Published 9:00pm Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Add two more to the total.

ECHS swept both the top girls and boys awards.

Seniors Patty Holley and Aaron Smith were honored Tuesday night as the overall winners in the 10th annual Sewell Awards. Each received a $2,500 John Sewell Memorial Scholarship.

Smith participated in football, power lifting and track at ECHS as well as National Beta Club and National English Honor Society. He is also actively involved in youth activities at Thelma Baptist Church. He is the son of J.T. and Melanie Smith.

Holley played volleyball at ECHS as well as being involved in Beta Club and Mu Alpha Theta. Holley was also selected as Elmore County’s Distinguished Young Woman and an area nominee for the Bryant-Jordan Award. She is active in the youth programs at Eclectic United Methodist Church. She is the daughter of Joey and Tracy Holley.

“The selection committee for the Sewell Awards is faced each year with the daunting task of choosing just two top winners from all of the extraordinary candidates who come our way,” said Dr. Jeff Langham, this year’s Sewell committee chairman. “We are truly blessed here in Elmore County with some of the finest young people in our entire state.”

“It is so rewarding to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Joe Sewell Award, a recognition program that is a shining source of pride for our entire community and showcases the outstanding youth who are the recipients of this honor. I commend all of the nominees for being such excellent role models to all of our students.”

Eight other student-athletes from across Elmore County were recognized as category winners during the Sewell Awards Banquet held at the Wetumpka Civic Center.

Those honored were:

•Academics – Hayden Willis, Holtville High School, and Samuel Britton, Wetumpka High School. Britton competed in baseball, basketball and football. Willis played basketball and volleyball.

•Athletics – Amber Priester, New Life Christian Academy, and Braxton Hancock, Tallassee High School. Hancock participated in baseball, football and track and field. Priester played basketball, softball and volleyball.

•Leadership – Brooke Schultz, Wetumpka High School, and Alex Russell, New Life Christian Academy. Russell played baseball and basketball. Schultz was involved in cross country, softball and track and field.

•Church, community and character – Ashley Roberts, Elmore County High School, and Colin Speake, Tallassee High School. Speake was involved in baseball, basketball and wrestling. Roberts participated in basketball and softball.

Each category winner received a $750 scholarship.

Keynote speaker for the evening’s event was retired Alabama Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Sheryl Gordon.

Gordon retired from the Alabama Army National Guard with more than 33 years of service and also served in the Alexander City School system as a teacher and an administrator.

Athletes honored Tuesday represented the 10th class of nominees for the annual Sewell Awards – the Joe Sewell Award and John Sewell Scholarship.

The Sewell Award program recognizes outstanding high school senior athletes in Elmore County who have consistently rep­re­sented the highest ideals of Christian leadership in ­athletics.

Nomi­nated freshman athletes from each participating school were also recognized for their commitment to the qualities outlined in the award program.

The Sewell Awards program was established in 2005. In addition to recognizing deserving student-athletes, the awards serve to honor the legacy of Titus native Joe Sewell, who pursued a successful baseball career in the Majors from 1920-1933 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.

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.

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