Three students who were honored by their Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddles in middle school are among the nine high school senior candidates for Christian Athlete of the Year at the Lookout Mountain/Northwest Georgia FCA chapter's fifth annual dinner Monday.
Eric Edwards of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Caitlyn Evans of LaFayette and Jensen O'Neal of Gordon Lee all were named their FCA huddle's top Christian athlete as eighth graders.
"It's very noteworthy that these kids are getting the support and encouragement," said Greg Spradlin, chapter director. "With the transition from middle school to high school, there's a lot more opportunity for temptation -- for kids to drop by the wayside. Our goal to have a support system in place in all middle schools and high schools."
He said there are now 35 FCA school huddles in the chapter's four-county area, including the 10 recently formed at elementary schools.
Other priorities the chapter has are "deepening and strengthening" huddle coaches on individual campuses, starting Bible studies and promoting its Behind the Bench ministry for coaches' wives, Mr. Spradlin said.
Monday's banquet, underwritten by Gateway Bank and Trust, will be held at the Walker County Civic Center in Rock Spring.
The Christian Athlete of the Year will receive a $1,000 Dicky Clark Leadership Award scholarship, while the runner-up will get a $500 William "Fireball" Kinsey scholarship.
The 8-year-old chapter also will present the Nate Schuster Courage Award to a senior active in FCA who has overcome great obstacles to stay in school, finish on time and compete in athletics.
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN/NORTHWEST GEORGIA CHAPTER CANDIDATES
* Jenny Bridges, Trion -- softball, soccer, basketball, Beta Club, Student Council, homecoming court, yearbook staff.
* Matthew Daniel, Chattooga -- football, baseball and basketball manager, FBLA, Chattooga County 4-H Council, Chattooga County FFA.
* Eric Edwards, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe -- tennis, National Honor Society, Student Government Association, class officer, Catoosa Teen Council.
* Caitlyn Evans, LaFayette -- volleyball, basketball, Beta Club, homecoming queen court, Most Athletic and Best All Around (senior superlatives).
* Travis Hodge, Ringgold -- soccer manager, Young Life, Student Council, class officer.
* Shannon Nations, Ridgeland -- football, wrestling, Most Dependable (senior superlative), Class Night court, FFA.
* Jensen O'Neal, Gordon Lee -- softball, basketball, National Honor Society, Student Council, homecoming representative, yearbook staff.
* Kaitlen Pickel, Dade County -- Soccer, honor roll, church mission trips, Jason's House ministry.
* Stephanie Shipley, Heritage -- Soccer, cross country, Beta Club, National Honor Society, Student Government Association, Senior Council.