HARLEY THOMPSON REPRESENTS PHS AT LOCAL YMCA/FCA BANQUET
May 3, 2014By Jimmy White of Prattville High School
PRATTVILLE BASEBALL PLAYER FINALIST FOR YMCA-FCA LEADERSHIP AWARD
Prattville High’s senior pitcher/infielder Harley Thompson represented the school at the annual Prattville YMCA-FCA Christian Leadership banquet.
The banquet was held at the First United Methodist Church, April 28. Gabe Gross, former Auburn University quarterback and baseball player was the guest speaker. Gross played professional baseball for seven years. He was a first round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays ending his career with Tampa Bay Rays.
Gross played his high school career at Northview High School in Dothan. He was the starting quarterback. The Cougars played Prattville High during Gross’ junior (1997) and senior (1998) seasons. Prattville won both encounters, 17-14 and 32-7.
Gross address the large gathering which also featured five other students from each of the seven high schools in Autauga County. He began his speech with a strong encouragement to each person in attendance to be a great leader by earning respect for one’s faith.
He credits three qualities in his walk in the Christian faith.
Knowing God’s word. Understanding the Bible and what it takes to be a follower of Jesus Christ. You need the knowledge to always make the right decision.
Learn to be humble. Go the extra mile out of the way to help someone. Be a servant just as Christ was.
Perseverance – “Whether you realize it or not. People are watching you to see if you truly are a believer and follow the words of Jesus Christ. Be the difference between you and other people that what you truly believe is the Christian faith. Believe it, talk it, and walk it. Stay true to who you are.”
The Local YMCA awards a $1,000 scholarship each year to a senior selected from the seven high schools in Autauga County. Thompson was the representative from Prattville High School.
Thompson’s family moved to Prattville during his senior year of high school. He is a right handed pitcher and also played shortstop and second base.
Thompson had a 1-1 record as a relief pitcher with a 1.12 ERA pitching 19 innings. He hit .241 and was very valuable as a utility infielder since Thompson could play several infield positions as well as the outfield.
Katelyn Simpkins from East Memorial Christian Academy won the 2014 award. She was All-Region AISA for her skills with the basketball team and also played softball and was a cheerleader for the football team.
Other Prattville High students awarded Fellowship of Christian Athlete awards were Jeremiah Andrews, Jr., Madison Brown, Claudia Harris, Javonda Peagler, and Tristan Powell.
Joe Mathis, life member of Prattville YMCA presented the Willis Bradford Christian Leadership Award to Ms. Simpkins. The award is named for Willis Bradford who was the director from its beginning in 1964. Bradford retired in 2013, but is still quite active in the organization. The award has been given since 1991.
David McDowell also presented the T. O. McDowell Christian leadership Award to Prattville High Student Ken Levins. The award honors McDowell's father who was one of the founders of the Prattville YMCA. Levins is a member of the high school swim team, soccer team and Cross Country team. He has a scholarship offer to attend the United States Naval Academy.
Local TV personality, Jeff Shearer, sports director of WSFA TV served as Master of Ceremonies.