Two Coffee County student-athletes were named class winners of the Bryant-Jordan Student Athlete Program Monday night.
Enterprise’s Ashley-Sinclair Curtis was named the Class 7A Scholar Athlete winner and also received an Auburn Football Letterman’s Club scholarship, while Elba’s Leighanne Sanders was named the Class 1A Achievement winner.
The two along with 102 other senior student-athletes in the state had been named regional winners during the winter in either the Scholar Athlete or Achievement category. All were eligible for the class and other top awards in their respective category.
The Scholar Athlete awards go to those who excel in academics and athletics and who show leadership as a student and in civic and church areas. Achievement awards are given to students who have overcome obstacles or hardships either physically or of a personal nature to achieve a level of excellence relative to their academic and athletic ability.
The Bryant-Jordan Student Athlete Program, named in memory of legendary state college football coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant and Ralph “Shug” Jordan, was done on-line Monday night because of the coronavirus. The previous 34 years the event had a banquet in Birmingham announcing the winners and recognizing the regional winners.
Enterprise’s Curtis competed on the Wildcats’ golf team since the seventh grade and was the volleyball team’s operations manager. She carries a 4.6 weighed grade point average and is the school valedictorian in a class of 502. She made a 33 score on her ACT.
She would like to walk-on to the Auburn golf team next season. She has not decided on a major yet.
She was awarded the Auburn Letterman’s Club Scholarship as a regional winner who plans to attend Auburn and after an interview with the Club’s three-person committee.
“I stood in my chair and said, ‘Oh, wow,’ then I hugged my family,” Curtis said of her reaction when she was announced as the Letterman Club’s scholarship winner. “I think my family cheered more than I did, but I was super excited. I think I was more in disbelief than honor at that moment.”
Speaking about 20 hours later, she called it an “honor” and a “victory.”
“It is such an honor,” Curtis said. “I had to interview for the Letterman Club’s scholarship and I felt really good after my interview. To know I felt correctly about it was pretty nice. I have had so many people help me over the years academically and athletically, so it is victory not only for me, but for them as well. To God be the glory.”
At Enterprise High School, she was a member of the ASTRA Girls club, the Scholar Bowl Team, National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars and served in the Student Government Association her freshman, sophomore and junior years. She was the vice president of SGA her senior year plus the Family Career and Community Leaders of American reporter her sophomore year and vice president her junior year.
She is a graduate of the Coffee County Youth Leadership Program and was team captain of the golf team her last three seasons.
Curtis is the Distinguished Young Woman of Coffee County for the class of 2020 and was nominated for the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists and the Capstone Leadership Program. She was first-alternate to the Hugh O’Brian Leadership Program and was invited to the local Phi Theta Kappa chapter and the National Student Leadership Conference. She is the Enterprise High School DAR Good Citizen Award Recipient
Elba’s Sanders competed in volleyball, basketball (one year) and softball at Elba. She also served as basketball manager for several seasons. She carries a 3.70 grade point average through dual enrollment classes with Enterprise State Community College.
She has overcome the hardship of being placed along with her two younger sisters in foster care at age 10 then making the adjustments of adoption into a family with three other children three years later.
While at Elba High School, Sanders was a member of HOSA, Interact, Senior Beta Club, Yearbook Staff and FCA. She was also a school Peer helper.
Sanders plans to attend L.B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia.
As a regional winner, both received a $3,000 scholarship to the college of their choice from the Bryant-Jordan Foundation. They also received an additional $3,500 scholarship as a class winner. Curtis also received $2,500 Scholarship from the Auburn Lettermen Club.
The Bryant-Jordan Awards Banquet has been held annually since 1986 with more than $11 million in scholarship funding distributed to 3,326 student recipients since its inception.