E.A. Sports Today

Make it four

Calhoun County Quarterback Club adds a fourth $5,000 scholarship for 2023; winners come from Jacksonville, Ohatchee, Saks and Wellborn

Cover photo: The Calhoun County Quarterback Club awarded $5,000 scholarships to (from left) Ohatchee’s Chris Ferguson, Wellborn’s Grayson Johnson and Jacksonville’s Drew Pridgen. A fourth recipient, Saks’ Owen Petty, is not pictured. (Photo by Joe Medley)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

Three was never a crowd, when it came to the Calhoun County Quarterback Club handing out $5,000 scholarships, and the four, the merrier.

The club honored 2023 recipients Chris Ferguson (Ohatchee), Drew Pridgen (Jacksonville) and Grayson Johnson (Wellborn) at Tuesday’s luncheon. Saks’ Owen Petty did not attend the luncheon at Anniston Country Club.

The quarterback club gave out four scholarships for only the second time in its history, former club captain and current board member Danny Shears said.

Extra from one donor plus unused portions of previous scholarships, divided at $2,500 the first semester of college and $2,500 the third semester, made four scholarships possible this year.

“Sometimes, they don’t go back for that second year, so we’re not spending that full $5,000 and getting nothing out of it,” Shears said. “So, it stays with the club.

“Through that and through the charity of the guy last year for this year, for the second time that I know of, we’ve been able to do four scholarships. We’re very excited about that.”

For Ferguson, a three-time state champion pole vaulter who will run track for Alabama-Huntsville, said he received some athletic aid and a merit scholarship that covers about half of his tuition.

“This would be about the other half, so I’m pretty much almost full tuition through all of the scholarships,” Ferguson said.

Johnson, the senior Wellborn quarterback who signed to play football for private NCAA Division III Lyon College, got $25,000 in academic aid … about $10,000 less than Lyon’s full-time tuition and fees for a year. The extra $5,000 will bring him closer to a full ride.

“It’s going to help a lot,” he said. “I really appreciate the quarterback club for doing this.”

Pridgen, a football and baseball standout at Jacksonville, got a merit-based scholarship worth $2,500 a year to Auburn.

“Something like this is definitely a big chunk for those first two years,” he said. “That’ll help a lot, with all of my younger siblings and all of us trying to get through college.”

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