Two Elmore County area athletes were recognized as the top senior scholar-athletes in their respective classes Monday.
Elmore County track and field hurdler Sam Barlet and Wetumpka volleyball middle blocker Morgan Causey each landed their class’ Bryant-Jordan scholar-athlete scholarship, providing $6,500 to further their education.
“I am so honored to win this award because it is such a close competition, and it means that all of the studying and extracurricular time I have put in have been so extremely worth it,” Barlet said. “It was such a great experience to even go to the banquet and be assessed by the Bryant-Jordan Foundation, and for them to decide that I was worthy of being the Class 5A winner is so humbling and amazing.”
Barlet added that he owes a thank you to the parents, teachers, counselors, and coaches that have helped him along his journey.
The scholarship is designed to recognize the state’s top senior athletes “for their excellence in athletics and academics” and is named for late football coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant of Alabama and Ralph “Shug” Jordan of Auburn.
After Barlet and Causey were selected as one of 52 regional winners to receive a $3,000 scholarship, the duo earned an additional $3,500 as the best scholar-athletes from Class 5A and 6A, respectively.
Barlet finished No. 11 at the state championships as a sophomore for the 110-meter hurdles, with the state track meet canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 and still upcoming for his senior season. His record of 16.63 seconds in the event is second-best in Elmore County school history.
Causey was named Elmore County’s Player of the Year by The Wetumpka Herald after leading Wetumpka to its fourth consecutive area title in volleyball. She recorded 206 kills and 84 blocks for the Indians.
Causey also finished 20th at the state championships in the javelin throw in 2019.
“When I heard my name called as the Bryant-Jordan scholarship 6A winner, I was completely shocked,” Causey said. “Just the ability to receive that award amongst so many other great scholar-athletes within the state meant more to me than I can truly express. I am truly blessed and thankful to receive such a high honor, and I know that none of this would be possible without God and the wonderful people who surround me.”
Barlet will attend Vanderbilt University after graduating from Elmore County, where he’ll double major in cinema/media arts and marketing.
Causey will attend LSU after graduating from Wetumpka, where she’ll double major in criminology and law.