Student Athletes receive Heisman High School Scholarship

Published 1:08 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Student athletes across Decatur County have shown success and commitment both on and off the field and three student athletes in Decatur County were recognized as the Heisman High School Scholarship was awarded to three students who showed academic and athletic excellence during their high school career.

Grace Christian Academy volleyball player Mallorie Jordan as well as Bainbridge High School tennis player Riley Palmer and Gregory Brown were awarded with the Heisman High School scholarship as they were recognized for their performance in the classroom and on the field.

“The Heisman Memorial Trophy is renowned for symbolizing the pursuit of excellence with integrity,” reads the mission statement on the Heisman High School website. “The Heisman High School Scholarship extends the Heisman prestige to our nation’s most esteemed male and female high school seniors by recognizing and rewarding outstanding scholar-athletes who understand that the most important victories not only happen on the field, but in their schools and communities.”

One quality that comes with earning this award is leadership. For GCA volleyball senior Mallorie Jordan, leadership has been a skill that her coaches have seen grow over her time at GCA.

“Mallorie is an introverted leader,” said GCA volleyball coach Kelsey Harrell. “She may not be the loudest person in the classroom or on the court, but when she speaks, her classmates and teammates listen because they know what she has to say will be important. What makes Mallorie special is the humility she lives by and plays with. Mallorie constantly was a coach on the court and would help younger players learn new things or help them when they were confused. She conducts herself in a way that younger players look up to, and that is one of the best compliments a person can have. She is leaving big shoes to fill for next year not just in an athletic way but also in a leadership way.”

Jordan was a large part of the GCA volleyball program’s success in 2022 as she led the Lady Cougars in total digs with 260 and kills with 166.

For Bainbridge High School tennis senior Riley Palmer, her toughness and determination to reach success is what sets her apart from the norm, according to head coach Amy Thomas

“Riley works so hard to better herself on the court and in the classroom with her academics,” said Thomas. “She really pushes herself to be a good student and teammate. Riley has a great work ethic. She plays the game with a lot of grit and tenacity and I love that about her. She is also very kind and considerate. Riley has proven that she has what it takes to compete with anyone. She is a leader through her actions on the court. Her energy drives the team forward.”

Senior Bainbridge High School football player Mason Brown has been able to set himself apart by his volunteerism and being a part of the community. In addition to being the starting left tackle on a surging Bearcats team, Brown has also participated in mission trips in Honduras to help renovate homes, is a student captain for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a member of the BHS Keys club which focuses on leadership through service.

Brown’s qualities of hard work and service came from his family life and seeing the way that his family worked to provide for themselves.

“My hunger to succeed comes from watching my family work and making sacrifices to not only provide for my family, but to also be successful in their professions,” said Brown. “Throughout the years of watching and helping my family with given tasks, I have seen and gained an appreciation of hard work. I have always wanted to do things to help others and to give back to my community. Recently the varsity football players assisted our city’s recreation authority in fitting and passing out football equipment for our community’s youth league. As the young athletes came to get fitted their eyes would light up when they realized that we were the ones helping them.”

As the winners of the Heisman High School Scholarship take the next step in their lives, the foundation of the award such as academic success and service to others is sure to set them apart from the competition in their future goals and aspirations.