Six DeKalb County student-athletes were selected for the 2021 Bryant-Jordan Regional Scholar-Athlete and Student Achievement Awards this week.

The Bryant-Jordan Foundation a total of 56 seniors in the AHSAA were selected in each category from nominations submitted by member schools. Eight students, one from each district in each of the AHSAA’s 1A through 6A classifications, and four students in Class 7A will receive $3,000 scholarships for their selection.

From 2A, Region 8, Ider’s Ben Watkins earned the region’s achievement award. From 3A, Region 6, Geraldine’s Collin Mayfield received the scholar-athlete award and classmate Joanna Hammett was selected for the region’s achievement award. Fyffe’s Jacob Mitchell (3A, Region 7) was selected for the scholar-athlete award, and Sylvania’s Logan McCullough won the achievement award. Fort Payne’s Arturo Rodriguez (6A, Region 8) won the region’s achievement award.

The students will also be eligible for additional scholarships. The overall class winner will receive an additional $3,500 scholarship and the overall state winner will receive an additional $4,000 scholarship in each category.

The recipients will be honored at the 36th annual banquet set for April 12 at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel banquet hall beginning at 6 p.m.

The Bryant-Jordan Awards program, named for legendary coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant and Ralph “Shug” Jordan, was created in 1986 by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in conjunction with the AHSAA. It is supervised by the Bryant-Jordan Foundation’s Board of Directors and has been recognizing senior student-athletes annually since 1986 (scholar-athlete) and 1989 (achievement award).

Last year’s overall state winners were Ben Williams of Phil Campbell High School, who received the Larry D. Striplin, Jr., Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, Hayden Holton of Elmore County High School and Karmyn Sparks of Pleasant Valley High School, who were named the co-winners of the Ken and Betty Joy Blankenship Achievement Award.

The purpose is to recognize and honor Alabama students who have by ability and effort achieved a level of excellence in the areas of academics and athletics that is commensurate with their potential. It also hopes to make aware to not only athletes but to all segments of the student population that it is both important and rewarding for them to strive to be the best that they can be. The program motivates and encourages students to achieve this goal. It also hopes to encourage and promote the involvement and commitment of Alabama corporations and individuals in helping improve the academic levels of all students.

The initial scholarship offered by the Bryant-Jordan Program was the scholar-athlete scholarship. In 1989 the Achievement Award was created. This award is designed to reward the student-athlete who achieves beyond his/her ability both academically and athletically or who may have overcome some obstacle or hardship to achieve success. 

A total of 104 scholarships are awarded annually to deserving high school seniors from schools that are members of the Alabama High School Athletic Association. The program has grown from an $8,000 award program annually to the present where more than $800,000 is distributed annually. In addition to the Bryant-Jordan Foundation scholarships, students are also eligible for several additional scholarship awards given to individual students annually, including the Dr. Gaylon McCollough Medical Scholarship; Herman “Bubba” Scott Coach’s Scholarship; United Methodist Children’s Home scholarship (2); Auburn football Letterman’s Club Scholarship, (2); and the Alabama “A” Club Educational & Charitable Foundation Scholarship (2).

The students are also eligible to receive even more scholarship awards from a number of Alabama’s four-year colleges and community colleges.

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