Because the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending all events of 50 or more be cancelled for the next eight weeks, the AHSAA announced Friday morning it has cancelled the Bryant-Jordan Scholarship Awards Banquet, which was scheduled for April 13 at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel.
Rather than a banquet, the Bryant-Jordan Foundation will produce a television and online event announcing the region, class and overall 2020 Bryant-Jordan scholarship recipients.
Locally, four student-athletes have already been announced as regional winners. Benjamin Russell’s Haylee Hunter and Wetumpka’s Isaac Stubbs are the achievement and academic representatives for Class 6A region 3, respectively.
In Class 4A Region 3, Elmore County’s Hayden Holton is the achievement recipient for the region and Central Coosa’s Levi Krause won the achievement honor for Class 4A Region 2.
The Bryant-Jordan Foundation has reached an agreement with WOTM TV to produce a TV show that will be broadcast on the AHSAA TV Network and the NFHS Network. The feed will be made available for free to all cable providers and can be viewed online at www.bryantjordan.org; www.ahsaa.com; and www.ashof.org.
The show will begin at 6 p.m. April 13.
“While we are very disappointed that our annual banquet much be canceled, we are very thankful that technology will allow us to still showcase these incredible student-athletes and announced the overall scholarship recipients via television and online view,” Bryant-Jordan foundation chairman and president Edgar Welden said in a release.
The Bryant-Jordan Program, named in honor of legendary coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant and Ralph “Shug” Jordan, annually recognizes 52 senior student-athletes, one from each of the eight AHSAA districts in Classes 1A-6A and one from each of the four districts in Class 7A in the Bryant-Jordan Achievement Award category and the Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete category.
Each regional winner is presented a $3,000 scholarship to the college of their choice from the Bryant-Jordan Foundation. During the broadcast, the seven Scholar-Athlete Class winners and seven Achievement Award Class winners will be announced. Each will receive an additional $3,500 scholarship. The Larry D. Striplin, Jr. Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipient and the Ken and Betty Joe Blankenship Achievement Award Student-Athlete of the Year recipient will also be announced. Each will each receive an additional $4,000 scholarship.
The Bryant-Jordan Awards Banquet has been held annually since 1986 with more than $10.8 million in scholarship funding distributed to 3,222 student recipients since its inception.
“We know this has been an emotional time for everyone,” Welden said. “We sincerely hope that everyone will tune in to this online/TV broadcast as we celebrate the achievements of some of the smartest and most courageous student-athletes in our state and nation.”