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Summit’s Jackson, Franklin’s Craig tabbed final scholar-athletes of season

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McKinley Jackson was a team leader in steals. John Connor Craig is a standout on both the soccer and football fields.

Seniors McKinley Jackson of Summit and John Conner Craig of Franklin were selected as the final John Maher Builders Scholar-Athletes of the month. 

In addition to the recognition, both are now eligible for a $2,000 scholarship presented to one female and one male selected as a JMB Scholar-Athlete at the end-of-the-school-year awards show on Tuesday, May 28.

McKinley Jackson 

Jackson’s volunteer efforts span from trash pickup to working with the Best Buddies program to tutoring and spending time at Graceworks The Manger. 

In the classroom, she carries a 4.33 GPA, and on the softball field, she helped the Lady Spartans reach the Class AAA sectional round for a second consecutive season. 

Summit softball coach Jenny Stevenson calls Jackson “a beautiful soul, well beyond her years in maturity.” 

“She is positive, encouraging and a blessing to those who get to be around her,” Stevenson said. “Not only is she an excellent athlete and a top-of-the-class student, she is also one of the most selfless teenagers I have ever met.” 

Jackson has spent time working with Goodwill and United Way as well as volunteering at local nursing homes in her spare time. Stevenson said the senior leads by example on the softball field and was a team leader in stolen bases. 

“She has a servant’s heart and is very deserving of accolades,” Stevenson said. 

Jackson is the daughter of Scotty and Kimberly Jackson of Spring Hill. 

John Conner Craig 

Like Jackson, if you don’t find Craig on the soccer or football fields, one should look throughout the Franklin area, where he takes part in a variety of volunteer tasks with community organizations. 

Craig, a four-year football player and three-year soccer player, spends time volunteering with Best Buddies, Habitat for Humanity and Franktown Open Hearts. 

“John Connor is the epitome of what a student-athlete should be,” Franklin soccer coach Mike Burgoyne said. 

Burgoyne said Craig, known as JC, holds a 3.75 GPA in the classroom. He played wing for Burgoyne’s team and has provided key performances for two District 12-AAA championship teams as well as the 2017 state tournament team.

“He leads his teammates by example,” Burgoyne said. “He is the first to practice and the last one to leave and can be seen on the weekends training by himself.”

That kind of drive propelled Craig to be successful on multiple Franklin High teams. 

Burgoyne also called Craig an entrepreneur. 

“He has started his own endeavors, including Mailbox Makeovers,” the coach said, adding that Craig interned at Summit Contracting Group based out of Jacksonville, Fla. 

Craig is the son of John and Amanda Craig of Franklin.  

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