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Published 11:16 pm Monday, May 18, 2015

Former University of Alabama football player Brandon Gibson delivered an important message to six scholarship recipients as the guest speaker at the Dallas-Wilcox Bama Club annual spring scholarship banquet Monday night at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center.

He told them to be consistent.

The young adults got their foot in the door Monday night after being awarded six scholarships totaling $14,000, but Gibson wanted them to know if they expect continued success, they have to be consistent.

Gibson said he learned consistency as a student athlete at the University of Alabama in 2009 where he was expected to excel as a football player and to achieve in the classroom.

“I was young, but I had an attitude that I was going to work for every single thing I deserve,” Gibson said. “Athletes have 8 a.m. class. Workouts were at 6:30 a.m. before class.”

“You go to class all day. Meetings start at 2 p.m. Practice starts at 3:30 p.m. We practice from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30/6:45 p.m., then we have to go to study hall for two hours and then you get your day. Just imagine what it is like to be an athlete. That is not just football, that is every sport.”

While it is yet to be determined if the recipients will fulfill the weight of Gibson’s message, they were deeply motivated by the financial assistance provided from the Dallas-Wilcox Bama Club.

“It means a lot to me, especially to be supported by the local chapter,” said Morgan Academy’s Mary Logan Kelley, who was awarded the Betty Jean Perkins McKelvey Memorial Endowed Scholarship. “It means that they think of you on this big, new chapter of your life and want to help you out in any way. When it comes to a financial situation, they are going to be there and give you more opportunities that you may not have had to fulfill your years at Alabama.”

Morgan Academy’s Wade Mahan, who was awarded the Sterling Price and Saidee Rainer Memorial Endowed Scholarship, said he was grateful for the scholarship because it gave him more financial opportunities starting out at the University of Alabama.

“Throughout the years, I hope to get more scholarships,” Mahan said. “It really just gives me a solid ground to start at Alabama and pursue my future in computer science.”

Over the last five years the chapter has given over $100,000 to students and are contributing $5,000 to the club’s scholarship funds to be available in 2016 to provide financial assistance for more high school students from Dallas Wilcox County to attend the University of Alabama.

“It’s really helped me get to where I want to be,” said Ann Smith Reeves, recipient of the Sam Earle Hobbs Endowed Scholarship.

“I am really looking forward the next school year in the fall. This banquet has given me a lot of pride in the Crimson Tide.”

Morgan Academy’s Margaret Jackson and Morgan Academy’s Stanhope Frasier were also awarded scholarships Monday.

Wilcox Academy’s Grace Shirah also was awarded a scholarship.