An Ashville High School senior was a region winner in the 2013 Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Scholarship Program.
Mitchell Partlow, 18, was nominated by his coaches, and went on to win the area and region as an achievement winner.
Partlow attended Steele Jr. High School through the eighth grade, and started Ashville High as a freshman. The achievement award meant Partlow has dealt with hardship in his life.
He said life as he grew up was very difficult between he and his parents.
“Things got so bad that I moved out a year ago this past January,” Partlow said. “I moved in with my good friend Will Wakefield and his parents, Billy and Emily Wakefield.”
Partlow is in his first year on the archery team. He said moving in with his best friend has given him a chance to get away from everything that has happened to him.
“Moving out of an abusive situation at home was the best decision I have ever made,” Partlow said. “This past Christmas I went to them and tried to make amends, but my dad pulled a gun on me.”
As a regional winner, Partlow was invited to attend the state banquet recently where he won a $2,500 scholarship.
“I really didn’t want to win anything, because I saw kids my age who were worse off than I was,” he said.
After high school graduation, Partlow will join the Marines, and will be able to take college courses online.
Partlow has played football since the seventh grade. He was a wrestler, but was injured wrestling while he was a sophomore.
“I’m really proud to be a regional winner for Bryant-Jordan,” Partlow said. “The scholarship money will help me a lot.”
At this year’s football banquet, Partlow received the inaugural Grass/Wise Character Award, an award named in honor of former head coach John Grass and longtime statistician Verrell Wise.
AHS Principal Patti Johnson said coaches at Ashville selected a scholar-award winner and an achievement winner, and Partlow was the achievement winner.
“He won the area and region,” Johnson said. “Out of 150,000 athletes in the state, there were 96 that were honored at the state banquet.
“Mitchell has come so far since I’ve been here. Because of some of his personal struggles, his academics had dropped a bit, but they are back up now. He is very studious. He is a great young man, and I wish him well.”