by Mark Brock
Athletic scholarship offers continue to rise for DeKalb County Schools athletes as 220 seniors in the 2010 class received either full or partial scholarships to aid them in continuing their academic and athletic careers.
The scholarships totaled more than $10 million, up nearly $1 million from the $9.6 million total in 2009.
Football accounted for the biggest part of the total as a record 133 athletes ended up signing scholarships by the end of the spring semester for a total of more than $6.8 milliom or 64.7 percent of the scholarships. These included full scholarships for Cedar Grove defensive tackle Jamel Dobbs to the Naval Academy and Miller Grove’s Terrance Moore to Harvard.
“We have some very talented student-athletes in DeKalb County both in the classroom and in competition,” said Ron Sebree, DeKalb County director of athletics. “They continue to excel and it shows as some of them are attending some of the best schools in the country from the Ivy League on down. The number of athletes moving on to the collegiate level shows their hard work as well as that of their parents, teachers, coaches and support staff in showing them what it takes to achieve on this high of a level.”
Eighteen of the district’s 19 high schools with graduating seniors had at least one athlete to sign a scholarship. Three schools had athletes to earn more than $1 million in scholarship money.
Stephenson led all schools with 32 scholarship offers (29 football) for a total of more than $1.9 million followed by Southwest DeKalb with 21 (15 football) at close to $1.5 million and Columbia with 19 (10 basketball, 9 football) at close to $1.5 million..
Four basketball state championships (two boys teams and two girls teams) paid dividends with 39 scholarships totaling close to $2.4 million. Columbia led the way with 10 basketball signees (six boys, four girls) after sweeping the Class AAA state championships, a first by a DeKalb County school. Shooting guard Jershon Cobb earned a full scholarship to Northwestern University in Chicago.
Fast pitch softball netted the next highest amount with $577,984 with nine signees including Southwest DeKalb’s Davynn Brown to Yale and Chamblee’s Jennifer Martin to Colgate.
Baseball brought in 15 signees and just less than $400,000 in scholarships led by Martin Luther King’s Trey Griffin who signed a full scholarship with Oklahoma State.
Tucker’s Kimberly Miller signed with Boise State to lead a group of eight signees in track that totaled $195,566 in scholarship money.
Lakeside senior Nikos Papinkolopoulos, who signed with Clemson, was one of the county’s five soccer signees, which netted $124,966 in scholarship money.
Swimming ($110,000), with six signees, and cross country ($105,000) with two signees were the other sports topping the $100,000 mark in scholarships.