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2022 Joe Sewell Award Finalists Announced

Central Al Scoreboard

Story & Photos Courtesy of the Joe Sewell Committee and Barry Chrietzberg Photography 

WETUMPKA, AL – The Board of Directors of the Joe Sewell Memorial Award and John Sewell Memorial Scholarship have released the names of its 2022 Senior Finalists.

The award was established in 2005 to recognize outstanding high school senior athletes in Elmore County who have consistently represented the highest ideals of Christian leadership.  Each year, one male and one female senior from Elmore County high schools are chosen for the top honor – the Joe Sewell Memorial Award and $3000 John Sewell Scholarship.  Male and female category winners are also selected for academics, athletics, leadership, and church, community, and character, with each category winner receiving a $1000 scholarship. The Joe Sewell Memorial Award is the only program of its kind in the River Region that presents scholarship money in conjunction with the awards to overall and category winners.

Additionally, the award serves to honor the legacy of Joe Sewell, a native of the Titus community who established a very successful baseball career in the Majors from 1920-1933 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.  Sewell’s athletic skill was apparent as he holds two of Major League Baseball’s records including the lifetime record for fewest strikeouts in his 14-year career with only 114 in 7,132 at-bats.  His outstanding character and leadership are qualities that serve as the foundation of this award.  His cousin John Sewell, for whom the top scholarships are named, loved sports and spent much of his free time coaching and helping young people.  Both men left a legacy in Elmore County that youth and adults alike can emulate.

This year’s 18th Annual Joe Sewell Memorial Award banquet will be held Tuesday, May 3rd,at 6:30 pm at the Wetumpka Civic Center.  The 9th Grade Certificate Winners will be recognized at a 4:00 pm ceremony with their families.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Jonathan “Bear” Woods, former professional Canadian football linebacker of the Canadian Football League, and current Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Wetumpka High School. The Joe Sewell Board of Directors previously scheduled Woods as the keynote speaker for the event in 2020, but Covid-19 forced a change of plans for that year’s event. After several attempts at rescheduling, the board is excited to finally have the opportunity to welcome Coach Woods as this year’s 2022 keynote speaker. A limited number of advance banquet tickets are available for sale to the public at First Community Bank locations. Tickets will not be available at the door.

The Joe Sewell Board of Directors expresses their appreciation for the consistent generosity of the sponsors whose contributions allow the awarding of the program’s scholarships, as well as the opportunity to celebrate these students’ accomplishments with a formal award event each year. For more information regarding the award and scholarship program, visit


Elmore County High School


Santuck Baptist Church: Fall Festival Volunteer, Disciple NOW Volunteer, Eclectic Christmas Volunteer Beta Club President, National English Honor Society, ECHS Elite, Mu Alpha Theta, Robotics Club Board Member, Maroon Machine Member, Auburn University Honors College, Elmore County Food Bank, Refurbished playground equipment at Eclectic Elementary School  Scholarship to Auburn University  9thGrade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Son of Greg and Jan Atkinson


Tallassee High School

Softball, Volleyball, Track and Field

First Baptist Church Tallassee: Children’s Sunday School, Youth Softball Practice, Life-Choice Pregnancy Center  Softball: All-Area, All-Metro, All-State, North-South All-Star, Max-Preps National Freshman of the Year & All-American, County Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Sports Illustrated Magazine Faces in the Crowd  Volleyball: Team Captain  Track and Field:  Sectional Champion  National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, FCA  Scholarship to Auburn University Montgomery  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Daughter of Mark and Michelle Baynes


Elmore County High School

Volleyball, Softball

Thelma Baptist Church: Guatemala Mission Trip, Strength to Stand Winter Conference, VBS Volunteer, Operation Christmas Child  Volleyball: Serving Award  Softball: State Playoff batting honor  Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Senior Class Secretary, First Priority, Key Club, Senior Elite, Top 5 in Class, Distinguished Young Woman Academic Award  Volunteer with Food Pantry and hitting lessons for younger players  Scholarship to William & Mary, Auburn University, Falkner University  Daughter of Chip and Stacey Brown


Elmore County High School

Baseball, Football

Ebenezer Bible Church:  Operation Christmas Child, Central Baptist Church Youth Group  Baseball: Wetumpka Herald Player of the Week, Elmore County Baseball Player of the Year, All-Metro, Varsity Captain, 2nd Team All-State  Football: All-County Honorable Mention  Beta Club/State Convention, National English Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, FCA, First Priority, Senior Elite, Mr. Elite  Intends to attend Wallace-Dothan with athletic and academic scholarships  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Son of Keith and Melissa Darnell


Tallassee High School


Bethlehem East Baptist Church: Children’s Church Helper, Glow Ministry Team Member  Track: All-State Team, State 5A Champion & Runner Up, All-Montgomery Metro Team & Runner of the Year, Section 5A Champion, AHSAA North-South All Star Race-1st Place, AHSAA Runner Spotlight, 2nd Place MileSplit National Performer of the Week, 5K record in 3 state venues, 3rd fastest 5K in Alabama  Beta Club, National Honor Society  Scholarships to Cornerstone University, Samford University, University of Alabama, Liberty University  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Son of Larry and Onilda Dean


Holtville High School

Baseball, Football, Basketball

Shoal Creek Baptist Church: Prayer Group Leader  Baseball: Highest Batting Average, Team Captain, All-County, All-Metro, All-State  Football: North-South All-Star, County Defensive Player of the Year, All-County, All-State, Team Captain, Lead Tackler  FCA, Mu Alpha Theta Officer, Spanish Club, Boys State Activities Director  Volunteer with Humane Shelter, Food Pantry  Scholarships to Auburn University, Belhaven University, University of South Alabama, Millsaps College, University of Alabama Huntsville, Alabama A & M, AUM  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Son of Robert and Lee Forney


Stanhope Elmore High School

Volleyball, Tennis

Coosada Baptist Church: VBS Volunteer, Nursery Worker, Youth Leadership Team  Volleyball: Offensive Player of the Year, Coaches Award, Team Captain  Beta Club Officer, National Honor Society Officer, SGA Representative, DECA, Junior Civitan, FBLA, Mu Alpha Theta, Spanish National Honor Society, English National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society  Scholarships to University of Alabama, University of Alabama Birmingham, University of South Alabama, Troy University, Falkner University  Daughter of Jon and Patti Foshee


New Life Christian Academy

Basketball, Baseball, Golf

New Life Christian Center: Kid’s Ministry Volunteer  Basketball: Offensive Player of the Year, 1st Team All-Tournament Award  Beta Club/Vice-President, Food Pantry, Millbrook Welcome Center, Humane Society, YMCA Volunteer, Montgomery Alzheimer’s Care Givers Volunteer, HUGS Organization  Scholarships to Auburn University, University of Alabama, Auburn University Montgomery  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Son of Rusty and Heidi Golden


Tallassee High School

Softball, Volleyball, Track and Field

Beulah Baptist Church: VBS Volunteer, TRIBES Participant, Operation Christmas Child  Softball: Team Captain, All-State, All-Metro, All-County, All-State Terrific 20, North-South Team  Volleyball: Team Captain Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete  Volunteer with Food Pantry, Math & Physics tutor, Life-South Blood Drive Mu Alpha Theta, FCA, Key Club, SGA Officer, Spanish Club  Scholarships to University of South Alabama, Auburn University, University of Alabama, UAB, Samford University, Southern Union Community College 9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Daughter of Dana and Beth Haynes


Stanhope Elmore High School

Softball, Volleyball, Basketball

Coosada Baptist Church: Youth Group, Santa’s Workshop  Softball: Rookie & Defensive Award, MVP, All-County  Volleyball: MVP, Team Captain, All-County, Coaches Award  Beta Club, National Honor Society Officer, Science, English, and Spanish National Honor Societies, DECA Club, Mu Alpha Theta, FBLA Officer, FCCLA Officer, Jr Civitan, Spanish Club, FCA, COVID Food Drive, Tornado Relief Drive  Scholarships to Central Alabama Community College, Bryant-Jordan Achievement Scholarship  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Daughter of Scott and Brandi Johnson


Edgewood Academy

Football, Baseball

Aldersgate United Methodist Church: Mexico Mission Trip, Youth Member, Mission Week Volunteer Football: All-State, All-County, All-Metro, AISA All-Star, Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman, East Side AISA All-Star Game  Baseball: AISA All-Star Junior Player  Beta Club, National Honor Society, Youth Baseball Camp Volunteer  Scholarships to Belhaven University, University of West Alabama, Birmingham Southern, Huntingdon College  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Son of Henry and Anita Jones


Holtville High School

Football, Baseball, Basketball

Cain’s Chapel United Methodist Church: Operation Christmas Child, VBS Volunteer  Football: All-County, All-Metro, All-State Defensive End, Defensive Lineman of the Year, All-County Punter  Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, FCA, National Honor Society, Algebra & Pre-Cal Awards,  Food Pantry, Youth Baseball/Basketball Camps, Baked for elderly in community, Tornado Relief  Operate/Own Lawn Care Business  Scholarships to University of Alabama, Lincoln University, Sterling College  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner Son of Colin and Jennifer Mann


Tallassee High School

Baseball, Cross Country, Soccer

East Tallassee Baptist Church: D3 Youth Conference,  M-Fuge Camps in Georgia and Alabama, VBS and Church Nursery Volunteer  Cross Country: State Qualifier, Top 10 Finisher at 5A Sectionals  National Honor Society Committee Chair, National Honor Society for High School Scholars, Mu Alpha Theta, FCA Leader, FFA, Fishing Team, Choral Program, Tallassee Elementary School After School Program Volunteer Scholarships to Southern Union State Community College, Auburn University  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Son of Brad and Deborah Mason


Stanhope Elmore High School

Volleyball, Cross Country, Track and Field

Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church: Media, Nursery & Youth Usher Ministries, Youth Choir, Praise Dance, Youth of the Year  Cross Country: Team Captain  Track and Field: Team Captain  Beta Club, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Officer, Girls State Mayor/Delegate, DECA Student of the Year, Senior Senate Class President, JROTC Officer, Superior Cadet Award, US ARMY National Scholar/Athlete, Salvation Army, Voice of SEHS Scholarships to University of Alabama, Auburn University, Troy University, UAB  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Daughter of Frederick and Temeyra McElrath


Edgewood Academy


Journey Church    Cheer: Team Captain, Alabama Independent Schools All-Star Cheerleader, Three-time UCA All-American, Pin It Forward Award    Leads prayer before football and basketball games     Beta Club, National Honor Society  Wetumpka YMCA Cheer Coach and Camp Counselor   Volunteers private cheer coaching lessons for younger girls     Scholarship to Troy University    Daughter of Corbin and Ashley Bartgis


Wetumpka High School 

Softball, Volleyball, Basketball

Hope Hull Church of Christ  Softball: Most Valuable Player, Best Offensive Player, Coaches Award  Beta Club, National Honor Society of High School Scholars, YMCA Volunteer, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, FCCLA  Volunteer for food/toy drives and donations to community, Volunteer to paint elementary school building  Scholarships to Troy University, Coastal Alabama Community College, Miles College, University of Montevallo, Albany State University  Daughter of Glenda Russell and Tony Russell


Holtville High School

Softball, Cheer, Track and Field

Coosada Baptist/Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church: Sunday School and Youth Volunteer  Cheer: Pin It Forward Award, All-American Cheerleader  Track and Field: Sectional Qualifier  Beta Club Officer, National Honor Society, CAEC Leadership Recipient, MLK Essay Winner, JROTC  Captain & Commander, FCA, SGA Officer, Taste of Elmore County, Christmas on the Coosa Character Breakfast, Zoo Boo, WHS JROTC Expo Event  Scholarships to Marion Military Institute, AUM, Falkner University, Troy University, University of Alabama, Southern Union Community College  Daughter of Lamar and Jeronica Smith


Holtville High School

Cross Country, Soccer, Basketball, Golf

Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church: Alter Server, Sunday School Teacher’s Aide, Search Team, VBS  Cross Country: State Qualifier, Top Bulldog Award  Soccer: County Brick Wall Award  Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Physical Science Award, Bronze Award for ACT, FFA Officer, FCCLA Officer, Class Officer, Jr Civitan, March for Life in Washington DC, multiple drives for food, coats, & cleaning supplies, Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army Soup Kitchen  Scholarships to University of Montevallo, Central Alabama Community College, Jacksonville State University  Daughter of Scott and Mary Staton


Elmore County High School

Track and Field

First Baptist Church of Wetumpka: Community Cleanups, VBS, Strength to Stand and “Generate” Trips, Children’s Music Worship Leader, Breakfast Club Devotional Group  Track and Field: State Qualifier, Javelin and Hurdles place winner  Maroon Machine Band: Section Leader, Brass Captain, and Band President  Beta Club Officer, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Student Council Officer, First Priority, Senior Class Elite, Senior Class Ms. Elite, Senior Class Valedictorian  Scholarships to Troy University, University of South Alabama  Daughter of Taylor and Christie Thames


Wetumpka High School 

Football, Track and Field, Basketball

Community Congregational United Church of Christ: Media Ministry, “Community Cares” Volunteer, VBS Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Team, All-Metro, All-County, Coaches Defensive Back of the Year Award, Team Captain  Track and Field: 6A Outdoor/Indoor State Long Jump Finalist  Beta Club, National Honor Society  Volunteer with Tackle Hunger Food Drive, YMCA Assistant Director/Leader, YMCA Christmas Angel Tree Adoption, Food Pantry  Athletic Scholarship to Belhaven University 

 9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Son of Alex and Margo Thomas


New Life Christian Academy

Cheer, Golf, Softball

New Life Church  Cheer:  FCC & CCA Leadership Awards, Cheer Captain  Golf: ACAA State Championship Team, 2nd Place ACAA State Golf Tournament, 3rd Place ACAA State Golf Tournament  Beta Club/President, National Honor Society for High School Scholars  Co-Founder of Holiday Cheer, Camp Hope Volunteer, Humane Society, multiple food drives, Montgomery Alzheimer’s Association Organizer Scholarships to Birmingham Southern College, Auburn University, University of Alabama Birmingham  9thGrade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Daughter of Christopher and Autumn Newell


Wetumpka High School 


Thelma Baptist Church: Chaperone/Group Leader for Youth and Disciple-Now Conference, Small Group Leader, Strength to Stand, Mission Trips to New Orleans, Georgia, and Guatemala to build and repair homes, churches & provide food and witness to people  Football: Wetumpka Football Team Richard Payne Award Recipient  Beta Club, National Honor Society, Multiple offices in FFA, Organizer of Wetumpka FFA Rodeo  Owner/Operator of A&B Firewood   Entering business field after graduation  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Son of Brent and Jennifer Turner


Edgewood Academy

Volleyball, Basketball

Ridge Church: Mission Trip to Jackson, MS, Ridge Small Group Member, Community Cleanup, Operation Christmas Child, Adullam House Volunteer  Volleyball: All-County, All-Metro, Team Captain, All-Tournament State Team, AISA All-Star  Basketball: AISA All-Star, State Championship Team  Beta Club, National Honor Society, Academic Top 10%, Presidential Academic Award  Representative to Girls State  YMCA Youth Volunteer Coach  Scholarships to University of Alabama  9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner Daughter of Chris and Leslie Weldon


Edgewood Academy

Football, Baseball

Centerpoint Fellowship: Thelma Baptist Church Youth Group, VBS Volunteer, Youth Conference  Baseball: Most Improved Player  Beta Club, National Honor Society, Presidential Academic Fitness Award   Salvation Army Bell Ringer, Field of Dreams Volunteer, Youth baseball camp volunteer  Scholarships to University of South Alabama  Son of Mark and Carey Williams


Wetumpka High School 


Weeping Willow Baptist Church: Children’s Church Program  Golf: Team Captain, Humanitarian Award, AHSAA Region 3 Leader   JROTC Cadet Major Battalion Officer, Student Council President, A+ Student VOICES, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, Alabama Girls State, University of Alabama Early College, JROTC Scholar Athlete   Adopted Afghan Mobile Medical Unit, Children’s Miracle Network  Scholarships to Auburn University, University of Alabama, Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi  9thGrade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner  Daughter of Tracy and Mona Wright

Scores and stories from around Central Alabama. More than just a sports Article.

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