Class of class acts: Seven local athletes awarded scholarships at annual banquet

Published 12:39 am Friday, February 23, 2018

Two years after his brother took home the top scholarship awarded by the Miss-Lou Chapter of the National Football Foundation, Cathedral School’s Henry Carpenter did the same.

Carpenter was awarded a $3,000 prize Thursday night at Hotel Vue as one of seven local student-athletes recognized at the chapter’s 37th Annual Scholastic Awards Banquet.

“I’m honored and humbled to be recognized,” Carpenter said.

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Though Carpenter said he knew he had worked hard to achieve greatness — struggling through things such as time management — he knew all eyes would be on him. His brother, Jackson Carpenter, has since walked on to the football team at The University of Alabama.

“There was definitely pressure to win it,” Carpenter said. “It feels pretty good now because I’m even with him.”

Carpenter said the scholarship will help him pursue his desire to study mechanical engineering, and his school of choice was a no-brainer.

“Alabama was it,” he said. “It’s just awesome.”

However, Carpenter said he isn’t planning on continuing his athletic career. While at Cathedral, Carpenter lettered in football for four years and played defensive end, defensive tackle, middle linebacker and offensive tackle. His 4.3 grade point average and ACT score of 28 should be enough to help him along the way.

“I thank my momma and my daddy,” Carpenter said. “I’m just a better fan than I am a player.”

Vidalia High School’s Zachary Nelson took home the second place scholarship of $2,275.

Nelson played as an offensive and defensive lineman for the Vikings. He has a 3.8 GPA and scored a 30 on his ACT.

Trinity Episcopal’s Dee Fleming was awarded a $1,750 scholarship. He played as a wide receiver and defensive back for the Saints, leading them to an appearance in last year’s MAIS Class A State Championship Game.

Caden Gillespie of Adams County Christian School, Deavern Mays of Delta Charter, EJ Woods of Natchez High and Jerrius Scott of Ferriday High each received a $1,000 scholarship.

Middle school and junior high players from the area also recognized were, Gary Rehms Jr. of Adams County Christian School, Paxton Junkin of Cathedral School, Jared Barron of Delta Charter School, Decarlos Robinson of Ferriday Junior High, Jerome Timmons Jr. of Robert Lewis Magnet School and Ryan Ashley of Vidalia Junior High.

Two specialty awards were also given Thursday night. Coach Willie Woods Jr. received the Contributions to Amateur Football Award, while Clyde Webber Jr. received the Distinguished American Award.