By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
Evan Talton ran injured in last month’s MHSAA Class 1A state cross country meet, but his gallant effort helped Tupelo Christian Prep achieve its best boys finish ever – third place.
“It was a struggle to get him through the state meet with his chronic hip pain and shin pain,” TCPS coach Lynn Holland said. “He works as hard as any runner I’ve ever been around.”
Talton’s work in athletics – he also plays soccer and tennis for TCPS – in the classroom and in the community led to him being named the state’s winner of the Wendy’s 2012 High School Heisman.
The award is the first for a TCPS athlete.
“I’m really excited about it,” Talton said. “It’s a huge honor to be able to represent my school this way.”
Talton was selected as the state’s winner by ACT, Inc., the educational testing company, based on academic achievements, athletic accomplishments, community leadership, and involvement in various extracurricular activities.
The national high school award winner will be announced today in New York as part of college football’s Heisman Trophy weekend. Talton was not selected as one of the 12 national finalists.
“Evan being named the state’s Heisman winner was well-deserved,” Holland said. “He was one of the pioneers for our cross country program. Had he not been dedicated and stayed with it for four years, I’m not sure we’d have a team today.”
Talton plays striker on the Eagles’ soccer team and is expected to play No. 1 boys singles in tennis this spring. He’ll give up varsity athlsetics in college to concentrate on academics.
“I would love to play intramurals (soccer) in college,” he said. “I hope to stay in shape running and playing tennis.”
Tupelo High volleyball player Hannah Farmer and Oak Hill Academy track and field athlete John Wesley Williamson were also nominated for the state’s Heisman award.
For more information on the program, go to wendyshighschoolheisman.com.