ANDALUSIA, AL - Josh Godwin of Pleasant Home High School has been selected as one of 10 MaxPreps Citizen Athletes for the 2009-2010 school year.
The announcement was made Tuesday by MaxPreps, a California-based company that provides sports coverage.
"The MaxPreps Citizen Athlete presented by the National Guard program was created to honor those student-athletes who excel both on and off the field. High school sports are community-based, and thousands of student-athletes contribute to making their communities a better place to live. MaxPreps is honored to celebrate the achievements of these fine young Americans," said company President Andy Beal.
"I never thought I would be recognized at this level," said Godwin, a 17-year-old senior, who is the boys' winner in the Southeast Region.
In its first year of the program, the MaxPreps Citizen Athlete presented by the National Guard is awarded to the high school students who exemplify positive values and demonstrate leadership in all areas of life - community service, academics, athletics and school involvement. While they may not be the often-heralded most valuable player (MVP) on their athletic team, they are MVPs in life - making a positive difference in all they do.
MaxPreps and the National Guard have joined forces to recognize five young men and five young women throughout the country. Each regional (Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest and Midwest) winner receives a $2,500 scholarship. Winners are determined by a panel of MaxPreps and National Guard representatives.
Godwin, who was nominated by baseball coach Bradley Stephens, will attend the University of Alabama in Birmingham next fall and plans to major in forensic science and eventually join the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The soft-spoken Godwin has been a leader on and off the field. He's been a team captain in baseball for four years, football for two and basketball for one. He's earned the Black Belt in Isshinrhyu karate and twice was the national champion and finished runner-up three times.
Josh is the senior class Valedictorian and is vice president of the Student Council.
Outside the classroom, Godwin's fondest charitable work is with Meredith Miracles, where he works with children who have cancer. "It's a thrill to see them get out and run around and they look to the older people as models," he said.
In addition, his benevolent activities include assisting a local American Legion post to place flags on graves for Veterans Day and serves a mentor for Royal Ambassadors. He also helped to clean up a school nature trail and assisted in rebuilding the nature tails bridge. Moreover, he built a handicap shooting house for management area of the Conecuh National Forest and constructed birdhouses for Conecuh National Forest.
"The National Guard is pleased to partner with MaxPreps for the first Citizen Athlete Program," said LTC Ron Walls, Chief of the National Guard's Strength Maintenance Division. "The National Guard is a force of Citizen-Soldiers, so we know what it takes to be a successful CitizenAthlete. These students have not only shown that they are dedicated athletes but are also dedicated to making their communities better and stronger. "We are proud to honor Josh Godwin with the MaxPreps Citizen Athlete award for her achievements in the community."
Alabama National Guard Sergeant First Class Casey Shiver presented Godwin with the National Guard Citizen Athlete trophy during Senior Awards Assembly in the school's auditorium Wednesday morning. Godwin also received a $2,500 scholarship check from MaxPreps.
The National Guard has been the presenting partner of the MaxPreps Tour of Champions for the past five years, honoring 50 of the nation's top high school football team as well as 10 boys' and 10 girls' basketball teams.
For more information about the MaxPreps Citizen Athlete Award, visit www.maxpreps.com/events/citizenathlete/default.aspx