Just two days after winning four events at the Class AAA state track meet, Troy Pride finally slowed down long enough to collect a bit of hardware Monday night.
Pride, a two-sport standout at Greer (Greenville, S.C.) High, was named Male Athlete of the Year and Wade Hampton basketball and soccer standout Sierra Foster was named Female Athlete of the Year at The Greenville News’ Upstate Sports Awards program Monday night at the TD Convention Center.
“This kind of wraps up my high school career,” said Pride, who will play football at Notre Dame. “I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be in this position. The talents I’ve been given are a major blessing.”
The 220 high school athletes in attendance also received blessings from the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow, who served as guest speaker for the event.
“I’ve seen him (Tebow) shine on both levels,” Pride said.
Make that many levels. Tebow, a former first-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos, played just a few NFL seasons, but has enhanced his reputation with off-field endeavors, which includes the founding of the Tim Tebow Foundation.
The non-profit organization was created to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need, and Tebow – the son of missionaries – embraces the mission at every turn.
Monday night he advised the young athletes to share in his mission to uplift others.
“Focus on who you can be, and allow the platform that sport gives you to impact other people,” Tebow said. “You are changing other people’s lives for better or worse, every day. Be bigger than sports. Don’t just be an athlete – be more than an athlete.”
Tebow, who helped the University of Florida to two national titles during his college career, also encouraged the young athletes to strive for greatness beyond the playing field.
“You only have so many games, so many opportunities to win a championship,” said Tebow, who now works as a college football analyst for the SEC Network. “Your career is short, but your life is going to be a lot longer.
“I’ve been fortunate to be part of championships. They don’t last forever, but what you do for other people will. That’s what real success come from.”