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Student athletes honored at “Tip” Colley awards ceremony

By Mike Hensley

The 24th annual J.O. “Tip” Colley Scholastic Christian Athletic Award ceremony was held at the Troy Sportsplex Monday night, sponsored by the Troy Exchange Club.

Cailyn Barron of Pike Liberal Arts School and Austin Ingram of Charles Henderson High School won the scholarship.

Madison Gilmore of PLAS and Tyler Phillips of Goshen High School were the two runner-ups for the scholarship.

Family, friends, principals, teachers, and coaches were all in attendance Monday night to honor the 14 student-athlete nominees.

“It is special to me to see all the faces that helped me get to this point,” Ingram said. “They helped push me and inspire me to get where I am now, and I appreciate every single one of them.”

“It meant a lot to feel all the love and support from everybody tonight,” Barron said.

The collegiate scholarship is named after the late Dr. J.O Colley, a local physician and successful businessman in the Troy area. The banquet honors senior Christian scholar athletes, who have excelled in faith, in the classroom and through athletics.

Both of the award winners know what it took to excel in the classroom as well as in life, something they said will take with them to college level and beyond.

“The biggest thing I will take with me is nothing is given. It’s earned. Your work ethic is key to everything you do,” Ingram said. “If you want something you have to go earn it.”

Barron’s skills she learned in the classroom are something she plans on sharing after high school.

“Whenever you do this, you learn so much. Leadership skills are something you can take with you anywhere life takes you,” Barron said.

The two winners of the scholarship award are given a $1,500 cash scholarships while the runners-up each receive $500.

Troy University also shared in the awards Monday night; both the winners receive and additional scholarship of $1,500 if they choose to attend the University. Barron plans on attending Troy University in the fall, while Ingram is planning to attend Auburn.

Along with the scholarship, both the winners and runners-up received plaques, while the winners were given a trophy that will be put on display at their high schools.

In all there were 14 nominees for the scholarship; the nominees were seniors selected from schools in the Pike County region.

Four others PLAS students shared in the festivities Monday night along with Barron: Kayla Benton, Gilmore, Rush Hixon, and Coleby Roberts.

Along with Ingram five other students represented Charles Henderson Monday night: Reilly Fox, Benjamin Salmon, Chase Smartt, Cole Wilson, and Will Young.

Sh’ana Lee of Pike County and Fran Warrick of Goshen were also honored.

Among the dignitaries in attendance Monday night was new Troy University head football coach Neal Brown. Brown was the featured speaker Monday night, and spoke about being a leader after high school and do all you can to be a catalyst.