By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
Awards season is beginning earlier than usual for one of Alabama’s most talented student-athletes.
Months before the the start of the 2013 softball campaign, Good Hope’s first All-American, Cara Goodwin, was selected Sunday as one of 20 state finalists — 10 females and 10 males — for the Wendy’s High School Heisman award.
According to the award’s website, the honor is annually handed out to “the nation’s most esteemed high school seniors” who display exceptional leadership and thrive in “learning, performing, and leading in the class room, on the field and in the community.”
The national field will shrink to 102 student-athletes on Nov. 5, when the state winners — one boy and one girl from each state, as well as the District of Columbia — are announced. Twelve national finalists will then be picked, two of which will eventually be crowned the national award winners.
The first stage of the High School Heisman program involved naming school winners, one senior boy and one senior girl, from all schools across the country that applied.
In addition to Goodwin, six other student-athletes in The Times’ coverage area were chosen as school winners — Keegan Thompson and Hannah Cornelius, Cullman; Caleb Marsh and Courtney Walker, West Point; Savannah McAlpine, Vinemont; and Jessie Gladys, Hanceville.
The Raider ace, who broke numerous school softball records, earned All-State and All-American honors, and led the Red and White to their second-straight state appearance in 2011, is the sixth local student-athlete — Austen Cooper, Addison (2011); Alexandria Scott, Addison (2010), Christina Franks, Vinemont (2010); Palee Myrex, Cold Springs (2009); and Matt Garmon, Cold Springs (2007) — to garner High School Heisman award state finalist status since 2007.
Addison’s Scott is the only one thus far who has advanced as a state winner.
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.