Stanhope’s Bacon, Bradford honored at Joe Sewell Award Ceremony
WETUMPKA , AL – Like many athletic-related events these days, the 2020 ceremony for Elmore County’s Joe Sewell Memorial Award and John Sewell Memorial Scholarship will look quite different this year. The event which was previously scheduled for April, but was delayed in the midst of concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will take place Tuesday, July 21, at the Wetumpka Civic Center. This year’s event will forego the usual meal, and will limit attendance to the nominees and four guests per nominee. One administrative representative per school will be allowed to attend. (Members of the press will be allowed entry to cover the event.) Rather than being seated on stage as in the past, nominees will sit with their family group of five, with family groups socially distanced from each other. All attendees are requested to wear masks per Governor Ivey’s state-wide ordinance. The Senior Recognition & Scholarship Awards will begin at 6:30 pm. (Ninth Grade certificate winners will be recognized during a separate ceremony at 4:00 pm. The same safety precautions and attendance guidelines will apply to both ceremonies.) The award ceremonies will also be live-streamed via Facebook.
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 student 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 keynote speaker will be Auburn University head baseball coach, Butch Thompson. Fans credit Coach Thompson with reviving Auburn baseball since his arrival on campus in 2015. Under Coach Thompsons’s leadership, the Tigers have compiled 154 wins competing in regionals, super regionals, and the College World Series. Perhaps even more impressive than the statistics is the way the baseball community holds him as an example of not just a great coach but an even better person. He is described as a man of integrity and character – a very genuine person. The ceremony’s emcee will be Montgomery sports radio personality, Doug Amos.