From AHSAA Media Relations:
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 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.
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).
Several special scholarships were also presented to some of the regional winners:
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.
Scholar-Athlete Regional Winners
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
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
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
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
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
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
Achievement Award Regional Winners
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
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
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
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
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
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