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9th grade certificate winners: (front): Chloe Smith. (Back, left to right): Nubia Espinoza, Patrick Ernest, Nathan Mason.

Sewell finalists announced


The Board of Directors of the Joe Sewell Memorial Award and John Sewell Memorial Scholarship have released the names of its 2023 Senior Finalists.

Senior finalists from Tallassee High School are; Micah Cole, Abbie Davis, Marlee Stewart and Mason Stewart. 9th grade certificate winners from THS are; Patrick Ernest, Nubia Espinoza, Nathan Mason and Chloe Smith.

The award was established in 2005 to recognize outstanding high school senior athletes in Elmore County who have consistently represented the highest ideals of Christian leadership.  Each year, one male and one female senior from Elmore County high schools are chosen for the top honor – the Joe Sewell Memorial Award and $3,000 John Sewell Scholarship.  Male and female category winners are also selected for academics, athletics, leadership, and church, community, and character, with each category winner receiving a $1,000 scholarship. The Joe Sewell Memorial Award is the only program of its kind in the River Region that presents scholarship money in conjunction with the awards to overall and category winners.

Additionally, the award serves to honor the legacy of Joe Sewell, a native of the Titus community who established a very successful baseball career in the Majors from 1920-1933 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.  Sewell’s athletic skill was apparent as he holds two of Major League Baseball’s records including the lifetime record for fewest strikeouts in his 14 year career with only 114 in 7,132 at-bats.  His outstanding character and leadership are qualities that serve as the foundation of this award.  His cousin John Sewell, for whom the top scholarships are named, loved sports and spent much of his free time coaching and helping young people.  Both men left a legacy in Elmore County that youth and adults alike can emulate.

This year’s 19th Annual Joe Sewell Memorial Award banquet will be held Tuesday, May 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wetumpka Civic Center.  The 9th Grade Certificate Winners will be recognized at a 4 p.m. ceremony with their families.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Abby Lutzenkirchen Forristall. Forristall is the Director of Events and Opportunities with the Lutzie 43 Foundation. The Foundation, created to honor the memory of Abby’s older brother Philip Lutzenkirchen, exists to reduce the number of distracted driving incidents. Prior to joining the Lutzie 43 Foundation, Abby was a program officer at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation where she managed the work of associate-led grant making for the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, Atlanta United Foundation, and the PGA TOUR Superstore Community Fund. Abby graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. A four-year starter and member of the Crimson Tide women’s soccer team, she was named captain her senior year and was named the 2015 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Abby is married to Miller Forristall, former UA tight end and current New Orleans Saint. A limited number of advance banquet tickets are available for sale to the public at, an online ticketing website. Tickets will not be available at the door.

The Joe Sewell Board of Directors expresses their appreciation for the consistent generosity of the sponsors whose contributions allow the awarding of the program’s scholarships, as well as the opportunity to celebrate these students’ accomplishments with a formal award event each year. For more information regarding the award and scholarship program, visit

*All Photos Courtesy of Chrietzberg Photography

Tallassee Senior Finalists/Bios

Tallassee High School
Football, Wrestling, Basketball, Track

Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church; Big Cat and Iron Man Award;, Football: All-Metro, Region, County, Area; Wrestling-MVP; Basketball-Coaches Award; Jr. MANNERS Professional Development Program; National Honor Society; Alabama Boys State; FCA; Tallassee Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador; Operates Public Address System at Church; Multiple Scholarships include Marion Military, Belhaven, Montevallo, South Alabama; Morehouse College (Atlanta, Ga.) Football and Academic Scholarships; 9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner; Son of Kerry and Michelle Cole


Tallassee High School
Softball, Cheer, Track

First Baptist Church Tallassee; First Baptist Youth Group Leader; Two-time UCA All American Cheerleader; Highest GPA Dance Team and Cheer Team; Cross Country Regional Qualifier; Throws Javelin; Tallassee Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador; National Honor Society; Fellowship of Christian Athletes President; Future Business Leaders of America Vice President; Member Key  Club & Lions Club; Softball Team Prayer Leader; Softball Athletic Scholarship Coastal Alabama Community College; 9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner; Daughter of Bradley and Catherine Davis


Tallassee High School
Volleyball, Softball, Track

First Baptist Church Tallassee; RENEW Weekends; Strength to Stand Conference; Church Nursery and VBS volunteer; Volleyball: Team Captain, All County, Most Kills, Most Solo Blocks, Most Attacks, 95 Good Serves Senior Year; Softball: State Playoffs;  Chamber of Commerce Ambassador; Senior Class President; Alabama High School Athletic Association Leadership Team; Top 5 in Class § National Honor Society; Mu Alpha Theta; FCA; Southern Union Community College Presidential Scholarship; 9th Grade Joe Sewell Certificate Winner; Daughter of Jackie and Allison Stewart


Tallassee High School
Football, Baseball

First Baptist Church Tallassee; Association of Christians in Tallassee for Service (ACTS); Participated in Winter Extreme and TRIBES; Volunteer for VBS; Fall Festival, and Church Nursery; Football: Bengal Award, Best Hustle Award, Butch Davis Scholar Athlete Award, Burlsworth Character Award; Bryant-Jordan Foundation Scholar Athlete Award; Top 5 in Class; Head Chemistry Lab Assistant; Chamber of Commerce Ambassador; Boys State; Southern Union State Community College Technical Scholarship (Electrician); Son of Jackie and Allison Stewart