Mountain View's Coleton Brindle (left) and Dacula's Missy Johnson received $500 scholarships Monday as the top award-winners at the Gwinnett County Public Schools' Outstanding Senior Athlete Banquet.
DULUTH — Gwinnett County Public Schools, filled with accomplished high school athletes, honored the best of the best Monday night.
The GCPS Outstanding Senior Athlete Banquet recognized the top male and female student-athlete at every Gwinnett high school, honoring those selections during the fifth annual event at the Sonesta Gwinnett Place.
"We're celebrating way more than athletic success, we're celebrating accomplishments in life," said Dan Seckinger, chairman of the GCPS Board of Education.
A few of the athletes honored were well-known — like Norcross football standout and Georgia recruit Lorenzo Carter — but star power doesn't have anything to do with the senior athlete award. It's based equally on factors like academic success, community service and leadership, achievements that Carter and the other 36 honorees all share.
More than 200 people participated in the celebration, which included each athlete being introduced by a favorite teacher or administrator.
"You hear the accomplishments from these kids and each year surpasses the next," said Mike Emery, the director of athletics, activities and community schools for GCPS and the driving force in getting the banquet going five years ago. "You sit in a room with kids like this, it's all positive. It's all good stuff. When a hear a lot of stuff with young kids that focuses on the negative, you sit in a room and look at these kids and realize things are pretty good."
The night's two big awards went to Dacula's Missy Johnson and Mountain View's Coleton Brindle. They each received a $500 college scholarship, courtesy of Scholastic Images/Balfour and Mall of Georgia Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/Ram, as the top overall female and male senior.
Johnson, who maintains a 103 classroom average and is her school's valedictorian, plans to attend Georgia Tech. She's a member of the Falcons' soccer, swimming and cross country teams.
Brindle, who has a 3.8 GPA, plans to play football at Berry College, where he will major in engineering.
Brice Croxton, a past senior athlete award winner from two years ago, was the event's featured speaker. The North Gwinnett grad, paralyzed in a middle school snow skiing accident, talked about his experiences with the Gwinnett Heat Adapted Sports program, which won state football and basketball championships during his prep career.
The 19-year-old is now a sophomore computer engineering major at Georgia Tech.
Outstanding Female Senior Athletes
Archer: Alesha Mann
Berkmar: Meagan Naraine
Brookwood: Ansley Jones
Central Gwinnett: Hannah Supple
Collins Hill: Calli Star
Dacula: Missy Johnson
Duluth: Jazmyn Johnson
Grayson: Breanna Ethridge
Lanier: Amber Cesair
Meadowcreek: Nury Perez-Martinez
Mill Creek: Sydney Sawyer
Mountain View: Meghan Tonnesen
Norcross: Kolby Meeks
North Gwinnett: Maddie Sibilia
Parkview: Megan Reeves
Peachtree Ridge: Addy Lippitt
Shiloh: Briana Stith
South Gwinnett: Taylor Hogan
Outstanding Male Senior Athletes
Archer: John Gillis
Berkmar: Jaquan Morris
Brookwood: Nate Rosetti
Central Gwinnett: Adam Riley
Collins Hill: Sean Russell
Dacula: Austin Collins
Duluth: Alex Brown
Grayson: Mason McIntyre
Gwinnett Heat: Joe Chandler
Lanier: Ricky Viengxay
Meadowcreek: Vienny Phi
Mill Creek: Logan Moseley
Mountain View: Coleton Brindle
Norcross: Lorenzo Carter
North Gwinnett: Caleb Scott
Parkview: John Patterson
Peachtree Ridge: Steven Tomlinson
Shiloh: Nahom Solomon
South Gwinnett: Montrell Marshall