Most everyone knows of his athletic accolades in Cherokee County, but last Tuesday, the Alabama High School Athletic Association announced Mintz was a regional scholar-athlete winner of the Bryant-Jordan Scholarship Award.
Mintz and 95 other students will be honored at a banquet on April 8 at the Sheraton Hotel in Birmingham at 6:30 p.m.
More than $800,000 in scholarship money will be distributed with all 96 students receiving a $2,500 grant as regional winners. Each class winner will receive an additional $3,000 and the two overall winners will receive an additional $3,000 for a total of $8,500 each.
Several other special scholarships will also be awarded, including several from state colleges.
“It’s a real honor to receive this award,” said Mintz, who is a three-sport standout (football, baseball and basketball). “I know there were a lot of other people in contention. I’ve put in a lot of hard work, not just on the field but in the classroom as well.
“Everyone sees what goes on on the field, but they don’t see the hard work that goes on in the classroom. Everyone who plays a sport, we all have to put in hard work in the classroom to keep our grades up. At the end of the day, that’s what’s really going to get us somewhere in life.”
Being a Bryant-Jordan scholarship region award winner is just the latest honor for Mintz. Following a couple of visits to Starkville, Miss., he’s planning to walk on and pitch for the Mississippi State baseball team following high school graduation.
“I went down to one of their tryout camps, and they liked what they saw,” Mintz said. “I talked to the coach (John Cohen) and they basically said it’s an invited walk-on. They want me to be on the team.
“I was in shock for a little while. They’re a baseball powerhouse, and it’s just a real honor to go down there, have a chance to compete for a job and play for them. I’m going to go down there and see what I can do in the fall. I might get red-shirted, and I might not. It’s up to them.”
Judging by the crowds Friday and Saturday at the Cherokee Softball Invitational, it was another successful tournament.
This year, the 18-team invitational was hosted by Sand Rock. When all 35 games were completed, the Cherokee County Lady Warriors won the tournament title with a 4-0 victory over Sand Rock on Saturday.
Sand Rock softball head coach Josh Bates said the tournament couldn’t be possible without the help of many community members.
“I’m very grateful to be at a place where I have this kind of support from parents and our administrators,” Bates said. “My softball parents do an outstanding job. Whatever I need, they’re there to help me. They went above and beyond this weekend, even our girls. There’s a lot asked of them in this.”
Bates said everyone he talked with from other teams enjoyed the weekend in Centre. He’s hopeful the invitational will continue for many years to come.
“It’s a great thing for this county,” he said. “I think the local businesses and restaurants see a boom. I hope we can continue having this tournament and get the support from the city (of Centre) and the Parks and Recreation. Every school enjoys being here, and I think they’ll come back and play again.”
Cherokee County’s Jake Minnix and Lee Morgan played their way into the Championship Flight of the Calhoun County Two-Man Tournament at Cane Creek Golf Course last weekend.
On Saturday, Morgan and Minnix fired a 5 under par 67 in the scramble portion of the event. The Centre duo’s score placed them in eighth, six shots behind leaders Jeremy McGatha and his partner Jaylon Ellison.
McGatha and Ellison shot a final round 64 to finish the event at 19-under-par 125. McGatha is a former assistant pro at the Cherokee County Country Club in Centre.
Minnix and Morgan finished out with a 70 on Sunday giving them a two-day count of 134 (67-70) and sixth place in the 39-team field.
Former Cherokee County High School football standout Maurice Dupree had an impressive night for the Columbus (Ga.) Lions of the Professional Indoor Football League on Saturday.
Dupree hauled in five catches for 127 yards and three touchdowns, but the Lions fell in a heartbreaker 40-37 to defending league champion Albany (2-0) on a last-second field goal.
Columbus (1-1) will have the next two weeks off before returning to action on April 6 in Huntsville against the Alabama Hammers (2-0).