Once again this year, I was the master of ceremonies for the annual Billy Prince Awards Banquet. This was the 29th consecutive year that the Augusta West Rotary Club recognized the area's top student athletes.
A male and female athlete were chosen to represent each high school in Columbia and Richmond counties as well as North Augusta High.
These athletes are selected based on athletic ability and achievement, as well as academic record and community involvement.
Only 17 schools and a total of 34 athletes were nominated, so this is quite a special honor for some of the top young people in Columbia County.
Below is a list of the Columbia County honorees as well as a quick look at some of their accomplishments. Congratulations to the nominees.
Female - Victoria Hughes (Sr.) Basketball and track. Hughes was the student council treasurer and plans to attend Augusta State and major in early childhood education.
Male - Jonathan Kilpatrick (Sr.) Lettered four years in track and cross country, He was also a Wendy's High School Heisman Nominee.
Female - Kayla Bourne (Sr.) Participated in cross country, tennis and swimming. Wendy's High School Heisman nominee and a 98 numeric average and ranks 18th in a class of 345. She plans to attend Georgia in the Fall.
Male - Bryan Kelley (Sr.) Lettered four years in football and track. He was the Knights defensive MVP in 2004. Kelley ranks 19th in a class of 345 at Evans and plans to attend Georgia in the fall.
Female - Kristi Nichols (Sr.) Nichols played softball and basketball for the Lady Pack and was part of the best year in school history in female athletics. The softball team captured the Class AAAA state title and the basketball team advanced to the state quarterfinals. She maintained a 4.0 GPA and ranked 19th in a class of 364. She will attend Georgia Tech in the fall.
Male - Edward Curtis (Sr.) Played football and baseball for the Pack. Curtis was a Wendy's High School Heisman nominee. Had a 3.9 GPA ranking him 25th in a class of 364. He plans to attend Clemson in the fall.
Female - Kelly Cheesborough (Sr.) Played volleyball, tennis and was a member of the marching band at Harlem. She was student council president as a junior and senior.
Male - Jeremy Larson (Sr.) Played football, basketball, baseball and ran track for the Bulldogs. Had a 3.46 GPA. He will attend Georgia Southern in the fall and plans to play football for the Eagles.
Female - Ellen Kist (Sr.) Ran track and cross country for the Panthers. Qualified for state in cross county and was second in the region. She will attend Georgia this fall.
Male - Blake Goolsby (Sr.) Played football, ran track, and was on the wrestling and swimming teams. Plans to attend Augusta State for two years before transferring to Georgia to pursue a law degree.
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