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Copeland wins ‘Tip’ Colley Scholarship, heading to Troy

It’s been a busy month of May for Pike Liberal Arts senior Max Copeland. The Patriots took home their second-straight state championship in early May, on Tuesday the senior was the male recipient of the J.O. “Tip” Colley Scholarship and on Wednesday, he signed on to play football at Troy University.

“I have dreamed of it going down like this my entire life” Copeland said. “Winning the state championship, winning the awards, I always expected it, but for it to happen, it’s more than I ever imagined.”

In front of family and friends, Copeland accomplished a dream and goal of winning the coveted Tip Colley Scholarship at the Troy Recreation Center.

“I couldn’t have been more honored or excited,” Copeland said. “It was amazing, something that I have wanted to win ever since I was a young kid.”

Copeland is no stranger to the significance of the award. Max has had numerous family members either win the award or be nominated for it, including his uncle Al Renfroe, who won the award in 1995.

“It’s something that I have been hoping that I could accomplish,” Copeland said.

Copeland has won numerous awards during his time at Pike Liberal Arts but this scholarship sits at the top of the list.

“Without a doubt it has to be up there, if not number one,” Copeland said. “My grandad, Don Renfroe, set some goals that he wanted me to accomplish. On top of graduating at the top of my class and play football in college, the Tip Colley Award was on top of the list. It’s a huge honor. If you look at the list of the former winners, you see the names jump off the paper. Hopefully I can be one of those names that jumps off the paper in the future.”

After winning the scholarship on Monday, Copeland added to the excitement when he officially announced, in front of family and friends, that he will be attending Troy University, where he will be playing football for the Trojans.

“It’s awesome,” Copeland said. “It’s really awesome to stay home. It’s been a dream my entire life to put on the T and play for Troy. I am hoping in the next four years that I can be really successful.”

Copeland played all over the field for the Patriots in his time at Pike. He is looking forward to playing linebacker for the Trojans, but knows he will be faced with new challenges at the next level.

“I know I’m about to tackle a new animal,” Copeland said. “I just want to find a place anywhere on the field, if that is special teams or the water boy, I just want to help the team be successful.”

Copeland has long been known as a leader on a the field as well as in the classroom. Now transitioning to Troy, he will be the one taking a step back and learning from the older players.

“It’s an outstanding group of guys and I really look forward to learning from them,” Copeland said. “I look forward to this next year really learning from those guys. I still want to be the energetic guy that lightens the mood. Practices get a little tense and it helps when there is a goof ball out there that lightens the mood.”