BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WHNT) — Two North Alabama athletes earned the top honors at Monday night’s Bryant-Jordan Student-Athletes Awards Banquet.
Gabe Marsh, a swimmer at Guntersville High School, earned the 2022 Ken and Betty Joy Blankenship Student Achievement Athlete of the Year Award, while Rogers High School volleyball and basketball standout Erin Brown won the 2022 Larry D. Striplin Jr., Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.
“I feel like sports taught me how to handle adversity,” Brown stated. “Just like in a game, there’s going to be highs and lows, and it’s going to seem like nothing is going right for you.
“You just have to keep doing what is right, and most of the time it works out for you,” Brown continued. “You just have to weather the storm.”
Marsh, who was born with no legs and one arm, learned to swim at 4-years-old and quickly began competing.
“Many people may think I have a disability and feel sorry for me,” Marsh said. “They should not. I do not see myself that way.”
“When life happens and challenges are present, I see my blessings, my family, and my friends,” Marsh concluded. “God has put us on a path he has prepared us for. This honor is a milestone in my life I will always remember.”
104 students were recognized at the banquet with over $380,000 awarded in scholarships. Each of the recipients earned a $3,000 scholarship. The 14 class winner received an extra $3,500, and each overall state winner got an additional $4,000.
The program is named in honor of the late coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant of Alabama and Ralph “Shug” Jordan of Auburn. Since it started, the program has allocated around $10.8 million in scholarships as of 2021.
The list of other class and special scholarship recipients honored Monday night were:
2022 Bryant-Jordan Winners
Ken and Betty Joy Blankenship Student Achievement Winner
OVERALL: Gabe Marsh, Guntersville HS
1A – Katelyn Frazier, Phillips HS
2A – Makayla Lindsey, Winston County HS
3A – Styles Hughes, Sylvania HS
4A – Kasia Nicholson, Wilcox-Central HS
5A – Gabe Marsh, Guntersville HS
6A – Gabe Gamble, Pelham HS
7A – Ty Roper, Foley HS
Larry Striplin Jr. Scholar-Athlete Winners
OVERALL: Erin Brown, Rogers HS
1A – Megan Roe, Sweet Water HS
2A – Reave Metcalf, Westminster-Oak Mountain
3A – Hayden Floyd, J.B. Pennington
4A – Erin Brown, Rogers HS
5A – William Jameson, St. Paul’s Episcopal
6A – Preston Reed, Jasper HS
7A – Davis Amare, Fairhope HS
2022 Bryant-Jordan Special Scholarships
Herman L. “Bubba” Scott Coaching Scholarship
Elijah Kirby, Fort Payne High School
Dr. Gaylon McCollough Medical Scholarship
McKayla Lindsey, Winston County High School
Katelyn Frazier, Phillips High School
Styles Hughes, Sylvania High School
JaKarrie McPherson, McKenzie High School
W. Edgar Welden Service Scholarship
Savannah Downey, Jackson High School
Hudson Hill, New Hope High School
Alabama “A” Club Educational and Charitable Foundation Scholarship
Scholar Division: Riley Jordan, Carroll High School
Achievement Division: Madison Martin, Oakman High School
Auburn Football Lettermen Club Scholarship
Scholar Division: Wesley Hawkins, Douglas High School
Achievement Division: Thomas Stovall, Alabama Christian Academy