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  • Carol A. White
    Kick-Aid, Inc.
    P.O. Box 48207
    Athens, GA 30604-8207

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    Monday, May 26, 2014

    On Friday, May 23, 2014, Paul Mark Inclan, recent honor graduate of Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, was notified that he had won the Carolina Panthers' $10,000 Stadium Scholarship. For the third year in a row, this valuable assistance for graduate school has been awarded to a staff member of Kick-Aid/Schools for Kicking and Punting Instruction. The winner in 2013 was Sam Eberwein, head counselor for 2012 and 2013. He used the grant to finish his MBA and Doctor of Pharmacy at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC. Michael Pinkerton, head counselor during 2010 and 2011, won the $10,000 award in 2012. He finished his MBA at Mercer University in Atlanta and has become a project engineer for Power Partners in Athens, GA. The Carolina Panthers competition is open to all athletes who complete college eligibility in North and South Carolina in a given year, and only one winner is selected annually. That a kicker/punter has won for three years in a row must be an eye-opener to athletes at other positions who excel academically!

    A 2010 graduate of Dorman High School in Spartanburg, SC, Paul Inclan represented South Carolina in the 2009 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas All-Star Football Game. He chose Wofford College to take advantage of the Honors Program in Chemistry as strong preparation for medical school. He played football all four years, while conducting sponsored research in the labs. He won a Southern Conference post-graduate scholarship, and he has accepted a presidential scholarship to study at Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.

    Samuel Michael Eberwein, a 2009 graduate of Clayton (NC) High School. chose Campbell University because of the reputation of the Pharmacy School. Since Campbell belongs to an NCAA FCS conference that forbids athletics scholarships, he amassed academic awards to cover the bills. Admitted to graduate school at the start of his third year of college and football, he completed the coursework for both his MBA and Pharm.D. in five years from initial admission, including summer internships. During his senior year, he won a National Football Foundation scholarship. He will rotate through nine branches of the Duke University Hospital System during 2014-15 before starting his career in pharmacy research.

    John Michael Pinkerton was a 2008 graduate of North Oconee High School in Bogart, GA. At Mars Hill College, north of Asheville in North Carolina, he majored in Business Finance and minored in Political Science. He was the starting kicker for four straight years. He was also Captain of the first ever Mars Hill Ethics Team. As a presidential intern his final semester on campus, he had his own office in the administration building and was accorded the privilege of participating in meetings of the Board of Directors of the college.

    What do these three men have in common? One from Georgia, one from North Carolina, and one from South Carolina, they graduated high school with honors and selected colleges that offered unique extracurricular opportunities in their chosen career fields. All three used all four years of football eligibility and became leaders in athletics and academics on their campuses. All are accomplished speakers, having represented their respective colleges at national conferences. They met through our summer camps and became staff members as soon as they entered college. They bonded to support one another in the challenge of maintaining A's while carrying extra course loads in demanding classes while playing football. All spent the summers during their college years gaining career-related work experience, in addition to working camps. All three knew by sophomore year of high school what major they would pursue and established goals for eventual career advancement.

    Congratulations to all our recent college (and high school) graduates! When I call campers and staff members, the first question I ask is about grades. Football does not define who you are or what you will be. It provides structure to empower early attainment of adult goals. Take advantage of athletics to excel academically and to gain admission to the college which can best prepare you for your professional career.

    Carol A. White

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