Brenna Conley, Owen Earnest recognized among “Most Positive” athletes in SW Georgia

Published 5:00 pm Monday, April 29, 2024

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Bainbridge High School and Grace Christian Academy athletes Brenna Conley and Owen Earnest have been selected for Positive Athlete’s “Most Positive” high school athletes class of 2023-2024 in Southwest Georgia. 

The two were of 24 total athletes recognized in the region. Earnest and Conley displayed characteristics such as “an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing the team as more important than the individual,” according to the Positive Athletes organization.

Conley won the award in the “Girls Multi-Sport” category. The Ladycat senior played softball and soccer, having career years in both seasons. 

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In softball, Conley was named GHSA Region 1-4A Player of the Year, All-State second-team pitcher, Dugout Club All-Star player, threw her 400th career strikeout and signed to play college softball at Charleston Southern University. 

In soccer, Conley was the anchor for the Ladycats’ defense, helping the team allow less than one goal against per game and being a part of the team’s first undefeated season in school history.

“It is an absolute joy to coach such a talented and respectful player,” Ladycats softball head coach Rex Wade said. “She always puts her teammates over herself and leads on and off the field.”

Earnest won the award in the “Tennis” category. The Cougar junior had an outstanding season,  finishing GIAA 2A state runner-up in singles play and losing only one match In the regular season. Earnest has been described as “fearless,” a “leader” and a “big deal” by his coaches this year.


The following information comes from a Positive Athletes press release 

ATLANTA, GA (April 24, 2024) – For the tenth consecutive year, the Positive Athlete organization has named their Regional Award Winners for the Southwest GA Region, where Student-Athletes representing 24 different boys’ and girls’ high school sports, two coaches, and Brooks County High School have been selected as the “Most Positive” in their categories. Positive Athlete’s Southwest GA Region consists of schools located in the following counties: Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Colquitt, Cook, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Grady, Irwin, Lanier, Lee, Lowndes, Miller, Mitchell, Quitman, Randolph, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner & Worth. In total, 24 different public and private high schools were represented amongst the winners for this year’s awards cycle. 

This year, over 6,800 nominations from coaches, principals, athletic directors, teachers, and parents were submitted for the Positive Athlete program state-wide, representing over 420 public and private high schools. Former Forest Park High School, University of Georgia and Pittsburgh Steelers star, Hines Ward, and local businessman Scott Pederson created Positive Athlete as a movement for more positivity in youth sports. In addition to excellence on the field, each nominated Positive Athlete was required to show characteristics such as an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing the team as more important than the individual. 

In addition to recognizing the athletes and coaches, Brooks County High School in Quitman was honored as the Most Positive High School in the region after an impressive number of quality nominations. 

All of these award winners will be recognized on campus at their local high schools, and now have a chance to win a state-wide award in their sport category, which will be announced in early May. The 2024 Georgia Positive Athlete Awards will be held in early June, and will be a night in which all scholarship winners and state-wide award winners are recognized.

Positive Athlete, INC. is an organization based in Georgia that seeks to promote the benefits of positivity to young athletes around the country through awards, scholarships and special opportunities. Positive Athlete Georgia has awarded regional winners of Positive Athlete awards around the State of GA for the past 10 years, in which over $350,000 in scholarships have been awarded. Positive Athlete also has an awards program in Western Pennsylvania.