Lowndes schools recognize outstanding athletes, coaches

Published 3:01 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2023

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The Lowndes County School’s Athletic Department recognized students and staff who worked exceptionally hard this year with a banquet held on May 12 at Beulah Primitive Baptist Church in Hope Hull.

Athletic Director Nick Rankins said Madison Hardy was named the female student athlete of the year. Hardy was active in cheerleading at The Calhoun High School while maintaining a 3.84 grade point average (GPA).

The male student athlete of the year, Iyanis Wallace, played football and basketball at Central Hayneville while maintaining a 4.1 GPA.

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Wallace’s father, Courtney Porter, said he is most proud of his son for two reasons, “His grade point average (4.1) and that he always accepts the challenge to do more and work harder to get better at whatever he does”.

Iyanis takes advanced placement classes, surpassing the recognized 4.0 GPA. “He says he wants to be an engineer,” Porter said of his son, “Iyanis says that math is his favorite subject.”

Porter said he feels very proud of his son’s hard work and dedication, “I go to work and work hard, and he sees me working hard trying to do everything that I can to help him. For him to have a 4.1 GPA, that makes me very proud.” 

When asked what message from him would he like for his son to read, Porter laughed and said, “Iyanis, your mother and I are very proud of you. Continue to do what you do both on and off the court. Love Mom and Dad.”

Tanya Simmons was overjoyed that her daughter, Madison, is being recognized.

“I’m so proud of her, and I want her to continue to strive for excellence and do her very best. When you do your very best, it will show,” Simmons said.

Madison is in the 10th grade, but she has already set her sights on a career as a pediatric nurse. Meanwhile, Madison keeps her GPA up and extracurricular activities going.

“Madison is involved in cheerleading, she is part of the marching band, she is a part of 4-H, and she is a part of The Distinguished Young Women,” said Simmons.

When asked how she keeps up with all of her daughter’s activities, Simmons said, “It’s hard, but since she puts her all into it, I’m going to put my all into it, too. I just try to support her 100%.”

Rankins said the students and three coaches received their awards during the Lowndes County Athletics Sports Banquet. Holding the event, Rankins said, served a dual purpose: sharing with the public the hard work of the students and encouraging students to work hard to achieve their goals.

“Kids listen to their parents, but they look at what their peers do, and they want to emulate their peers,” said Rankins.

Female coach of the year award winner is Corsheka Rich, who directs the cheerleading squad at Central High School in Hayneville and Hayneville Middle School.  The male coach of the year is Robert Sellers, who coaches junior high football, baseball, and assistant track and field coach at The Calhoun School. 

The Athletic Director of the year is Brian Coleman who serves at Central High School.

Rankins said five seniors who were nominated to receive awards were all given letterman jackets.

Rankins hopes renewing the tradition of giving student athletes letterman jackets will help build pride in each school and encourage students to become great athletes who excel in academics.