Luker named 1A Scholar Athlete

Published 9:49 pm Friday, May 1, 2009

Sweet Water High’s Tate Luker was recognized Monday, April 13 as the Bryant-Jordan Scholar Athlete of the Year for Class 1A.

“I think it’s a real honor for Tate and it’s a real honor for the school for him to be considered the top scholar athlete in 1A for the state of Alabama,” Sweet Water High School principal Stan Stokley said. “It’s a real compliment for him and and the school.”

The Bulldog senior carries a 4.0 grade point average and will head walk at graduation as Sweet Water High’s valedictorian.

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“He’s the kind of student you hate to see graduate because he’s been so good to our school,” Stokley said of Luker, who has received three Presidential Scholars Awards and is a member of the Beta Club.

Each regional winner of the award earned a $1,500 scholarship and each class winner obtained an additional $3,000 in funding.

Luker was one of the stars of the Sweet Water High football team, earning four state championship rings in his tenure as a Bulldog and garnering ASWA First Team All-State honors at the conclusion of his senior season. He also finished as a finalist for the 1A Lineman of the Year Award. That campaign came on the heels of 2006 and 2007 seasons in which he earned All-State Football honors.

“It’s exciting for him when you look at his resume,” Stokely said of Luker, who is currently in the midst of a playoff run with the Bulldog baseball team. “He’s won four state championships in football and he’s the starting first baseman on a team that’s headed into the third round of the playoffs.”

Luker was also named to the Mobile Press-Register’s 2007 All-Region Football Team and gained recognition as a member of Varsity Sports Media’s Alabama Football Magazine 2008 Preseason Academic All-State Football Team. He was named as a Reebok Alabama Football Phenom and has also played basketball during his tenure as a Bulldog.

“He’s a kid of good moral character, a kid that’s in church every Sunday and Wednesday night,” Stokely said of Luker, who attends Sweet Water Baptist Church. “He’s the kind of kid that has done well and excelled in everything he does.”

The son of Stacy and Donna Luker, Tate plans to attend UAB in the fall where he intends to major in philosophy. He has gained acceptance into UAB’s Honors Academy and was awarded UAB’s Golden Excellence Scholarship.

Luker was one of 96 student-athletes honore at the Bryant-Jordan Awards Banquet at Birmingham’s Sheraton Hotel. The banquet is one part of the program that has given away more than $5.5 million to nearly 2,000 student-athletes since its 1986 inception.

More than $700,000 in scholarship money was awarded at this year’s banquet via the Bryant-Jordan Foundation, an organization named in honor of former University of Alabama head football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and former Auburn University head football coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan.