By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
Ravenwood volleyball player Taylor Briggs and Brentwood football player Austin Wells have been named John Maher Scholar-Athletes of the Month for September, 2013.
A senior, Briggs is a leader on the state championship defending Ravenwood Raptor volleyball team, according to her coach, Tracey Berry. Briggs has helped the Raptors hold the number one seed in next week’s District 11-AAA tournament.
“Taylor exemplifies what it means to be a student-athlete at Ravenwood. While maintaining her 4.5-GPA, Taylor has been able to manage being a part of the school’s Student Council as well as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA),” among other endeavors, says Berry.
Not content to lounge in the off-season, Briggs is also a member of the Ravenwood tennis team and enters her seventh year of playing travel volleyball. But she hasn’t forgotten the beginnings of her love of the game.
“Taylor has volunteered in the community, giving back to the program where she started, with the Williamson County Parks and Recreation and in youth volleyball camps at Ravenwood.”
In addition, Briggs began volunteering in 2009 at the Nashville Rescue Mission and has been working with the Special Olympics as a scorer and a line judge for the same amount of time. Over the summer, she joined her church youth group in a mission trip to Vancouver.
“Taylor has worked extremely hard to improve her skills,” said Berry, “the entire time being a very positive role model for our program.”
Brentwood High School Athletic Director Ronnie Seigenthaler is not a man given to throwing around superlatives easily. Which makes his nomination of Austin Wells for the John Maher Scholar-Athlete of the Month Award all the more impressive.
“We are blessed to have many great male scholar athletes at Brentwood, but Austin is an ambassador for Brentwood High student-athletes,” said the veteran educator and coach. “All male athletes at Brentwood aspire to be Austin.”
Wells, the starting tailback on the Bruin football team that has one of the top ten toughest schedules of the 300-plus schools playing in the Tennessee Secondary School Association, can run the ball, catch it and throw it. Wells is also the team’s back-up at quarterback.
Last Friday night was a classic example, according to Seigenthaler. Playing archrival Franklin in a see saw contest, starting quarterback Aaron Maher was shaken up as the Bruins were driving.
“Austin was able to switch gears immediately from tailback to quarterback,” said Seignthaler. “Austin ran two plays before Maher came back to keep Brentwood driving for the go-ahead score.”
Though Franklin eventually won the game, it wasn’t without Wells’ typical effort. He is currently the second-leading rusher, third-leading receiver and second-leading passer on the team.
Outside the lines, Wells maintains a leadership position in Brentwood’s FCA program and his church youth group while volunteering in several community service projects. He also works actively with special needs students at Brentwood, where he is usually mobbed in the halls between classes.
“Austin is quiet, humble,” said Seigenthaler. “He’s just a true winner.”
Do you know a potential John Maher Scholar Athlete?
Vist www.williamsonherald.com/johnmaheraward to nominate someone today!
Posted on: 10/10/2013