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THE WINNER: Ben Bryant
School: Opelika (Ala.)
Weight: 138 pounds
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Class 6A individual state championship with a time of 15:34.76 this past season, leading the Bulldogs to second place as a team. A two-time Class 6A All-State honoree, Bryant finished 46th at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 15:42. He took second at the Class 6A state meet as a junior in 2013.
Academic excellence: Bryant has maintained a 4.06 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society as well as the Latin and Science national honor societies, he also sings in the First Baptist Church’s chancel choir. He has volunteered locally on behalf of his church, a homeless shelter and a food reserve for the needy as well as the Reading is Fundamental program.
“Ben Bryant is the epitome of what a student-athlete should embody,” said Opelika head coach Kristin Blatt. “Ben’s hard work and dedication to the sport and academics has been a true inspiration to everyone who has the privilege of knowing this young man.”
THE FUTURE: Bryant has signed with Samford.