Annual Bryant-Jordan Scholarship winners announced

From the AHSAA:

Nathan Riley Spence of Albertville High School and Justin Levins of Prattville High School were the overall winners at the 27th annual Bryant-Jordan Student Athlete Awards Banquet here Monday night at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel as 96 regional honorees were recognized and awarded approximately $800,000 in scholarships.

Spence was the recipient of the Larry D. Striplin Jr. Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award while Levins received the Ken and Betty Joy Blankenship Student Achievement Athlete of the Year Award.

The program recognized 48 regional scholar-athlete winners selected for their excellence in athletics and academics and 48 achievement winners chosen for their ability to overcome major obstacles during their high school careers.

It is named in honor of the late coaches Paul "Bear" Bryant of Alabama and Ralph "Shug" Jordan of Auburn.

The night was also highlighted by a special tribute to Bryant-Jordan founders Striplin and Herman L. "Bubba" Scott by retired Bryant-Jordan Director Ken Blankenship. Both devoted much of their adult life to the success and lasting legacy of the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Scholarship Program.

Spence has compiled a 4.31 weighted grade-point average, ranks first in his graduating class of 243 and scored a 35 on the ACT. He was a member of the Aggies football team for three years as a wide receiver and kicker, played basketball four years and soccer for three years. A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he was named team captain for the football and soccer teams. The National Merit semifinalist plans to attend Auburn University.

Levins played football one season at Prattville and wrestled for four years despite having both legs and part of his right hand amputated when he was just seven months old due to complications resulting from pneumonia. He earned the Academic Award for football in 2009 and was named most inspirational wrestler in 2009 and 2010. He was 19-9 as a junior and 36-14 as a senior with 28 pins. He plans to attend either the University of Alabama or South Alabama.

Spence and Levins were each awarded scholarship totaling $8,500. Each regional winner received $2,500 and each class winner an additional $3,000. The state winners also received an additional $3,000.

"I don't think our teachers and coaches get enough credit for what they do for us," a humbled Spence said as he accepted the overall Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. "I can't thank them enough." Levins credited his coaches as well for inspiring him. His coaches said it was Levins who was the inspiration, however.

Other class winners in the Student Achievement division included: Alex Fourie, Shades Mountain Christian (1A); Heather Nichole Fondren, Oakman (2A); Tyler Holliday, Hamilton (3A); Jim Furlow, Oak Grove (4A); Rose Marceaux, Faith Academy (5A).

Other class winners in the Scholar-Athlete division were: Brooke Frazier, Brilliant (1A); Neil Granberry, Cottonwood (2A); Christopher Tinker, Glencoe (3A); Andrew NeSmith, Oneonta (4A); Nathan Riley Spence, Albertville (5A); and Daniel Seay, Hewitt-Trussville.

Several special scholarships were also presented to some of the regional winners.

The special scholarship recipients included:

Herman L. "Bubba" Scott Coaching Scholarship: Zak Walsh, North Sand Mountain.

Alabama "A" Club Educational & Charitable Foundation Scholarship: (Achievement) Taylor Cox, Thompson; (Scholar) Sarah Hilliard, Phil Campbell.

Auburn Football Lettermen Club Scholarship: (Achievement) Madison Grace Pontius, McAdory; (Scholar) Kyle Paul, Hewitt-Trussville.


The regional winners include:

Achievement Award Regional Winners

Class 1A
Region 1: Taylor Box, Fruitdale
Region 2: William Glenn Stephens, Sweet Water
Region 3: Marqueska Kanae Deramus, Verbena
Region 4: Alex Fourie, Shades Mountain Christian
Region 5: Amber Nicole Williams, Jacksonville Christian
Region 6: Hannah, Denson, Meek
Region 7: Jessica Renee Smith, Spring Garden
Region 8: Charles J. Kelley, Jr., Shoals Christian

Class 2A

Region 1: Reid Stauter, Cottage Hill Christian

Region 2: Nichole Moulton, Houston Academy

Region 3: Raheem Devonta Berry, Highland Home

Region 4: James Dubuisson, Thorsby

Region 5: Courtney Leigh Holston, Vincent

Region 6: Heather Nicole Fondren, Oakman

Region 7: Zak Walsh, North Sand Mountain

Region 8: Briana Nicole Goodloe, Cherokee

Class 3A
Region 1: Evan Moorer, Washington County

Region 2: Haley McKinney, Slocomb

Region 3: Lorenza Cooper, Marbury

Region 4: Luke Endress, Clay County

Region 5: Dalton Carroll, Walter Wellborn

Region 6: Tyler Holliday, Hamilton

Region 7: Brett Tinsley, Plainview

Region 8: Aarron Johnson, West Morgan

Class 4A
Region 1: Stacie Young, Escambia County

Region 2: Hunter Albritton, Andalusia

Region 3: Kierra Billingsley, Dadeville

Region 4: Jim Furlow, Oak Grove

Region 5: Richard Barton, Cherokee County

Region 6: Michael Ryan Hopper, Douglas

Region 7: Cierra 'CiCi' Jenkins, Good Hope

Region 8: Rajene Shante Swopes, Deshler

Class 5A
Region 1: Rose Marceaux, Faith Academy

Region 2: Jessica  Clyburn, Tallassee

Region 3: David Tyler Harwell, Demopolis

Region 4: Madison Grace Pontius, McAdory

Region 5: Jarette Dwight Maye, Center Point

Region 6: Nicholas Woodley, Walker

Region 7: Kelsey Ikard, Scottsboro

Region 8: Heather Mychell Larane Cole, Russellville

Class 6A
Region 1: Will Cotton, Theodore

Region 2: Anna Raley, Fairhope

Region 3: Hunter Smith, Dothan

Region 4: Justin Scott Levins, Prattville

Region 5: Taylor Cox, Thompson

Region 6: Jake Hoffman, Spain Park

Region 7: Brian Walker, Grissom

Region 8: Julian Cole, Florence

Scholar-Athlete Regional Winners

Class 1A

Region 1: Joshua O'Neal, Pleasant Home

Region 2: Clint Kilcrease, Brantley

Region 3: Cameron Morrow, Maplesville

Region 4: Sam Foster, Holy Spirit Catholic

Region 5: Tate Thomas, Donoho

Region 6: Brooke Frazier, Brilliant

Region 7: Meagan Carlene Higdon, Valley Head

Region 8: Grant Gill, Decatur Heritage Christian

Class 2A

Region 1: Caitlin Mock, Samson

Region 2: Neil Granberry, Cottonwood

Region 3: Benjamin Tindle, Southern Choctaw

Region 4: Preston Wallace, Billingsley

Region 5: Yorisha Bryant, Altamont

Region 6: Sarah Hilliard, Phil Campbell

Region 7: Whitney Roberson, Ohatchee

Region 8: Lily Deng, Westminster Christian

Class 3A

Region 1: Charlotte Gill, Bayside Academy

Region 2: Jackson Luke Fendley, Trinity Presbyterian

Region 3:  Zack Hall, Handley

Region 4: Anna Henderson, Northside

Region 5: Christopher Tinker, Glencoe

Region 6: Kelsey Marie Holdbrooks, Winfield

Region 7: Alan Ray Clayton II, Sylvania

Region 8: Clayton Ezell, Lauderdale County

Class 4A

Region 1: Ben Morseth, Jackson

Region 2: Austin Meadows, Saint James

Region 3: Joshua Spence, Beauregard

Region 4: Meghan Ryan, Calera

Region 5: John Herndon, Jacksonville

Region 6: Andrew NeSmith, Oneonta

Region 7: Taku Koiwai, DAR

Region 8: Daniel McNeese, Ardmore

Class 5A

Region 1: Daniel W. Rose, Spanish Fort

Region 2: Jim Johnson, Eufaula

Region 3: Ivan Truss, Chilton County

Region 4: Kyle Paul, Briarwood Christian

Region 5: Krystal D.Rivers, Ramsay

Region 6: Nathan Riley Spence, Albertville

Region 7: Wesley F. Taylor, Arab

Region 8: Emily Eddy, Athens

Class 6A

Region 1: Catherine Zivanov, Mary Montgomery

Region 2: Allison Bourdon, McGill-Toolen Catholic

Region 3: Levi Austin Tate, Enterprise

Region 4: Elizabeth Alley, Auburn

Region 5: Victoria Hill, Oak Mountain

Region 6: Forrest Gamble, Vestavia Hills

Region 7: Daniel  Seay, Hewitt-Trussville

Region 8: Lindsey Wintzinger, Huntsville