Two seniors from Winona Christian and Winona High School were awarded the Heisman High School scholarship recently for their leadership skills, athletic abilities, and successes in the classroom and on the playing field.
Audrey Eldridge and Griffin Faulkner learned recently that they respectively won the scholarship.
Eldridge, a senior at Winona Christian, said she learned about her achievement at the end of October, after learning on Facebook that Griffin Faulkner won the Heisman scholarship for Winona High School.
“I saw they announced the winner of the public school, and I went on the website,” Eldridge said. “It was crazy, I was so excited. I had to tell Mrs. Misty Holder about it because she didn’t know. I had to send it to her.”
Eldridge of Vaiden said she is very grateful to be honored. She said the application has many parts and community service, local and non-local, weighs heavily on the application.
“There were so many parts to it, and community service was a big thing,” she said.
At Winona Christian, Eldridge is the president of the Student Council, president of the Beta Club, a member of the 4H club, and a Fellowship of Christian Athlete leader. She’s also a member of the Lady Stars basketball team, track and captain of the cheer team.
“My parents were so proud. This is something that I’ve worked for a really long time. Grades are important to them and they are important to me, and they want me to do my best in everything I do,” she said.
Eldridge said after she graduates from WCS, she plans on attending Holmes Community College and to take her pre-requisite courses for nursing before transferring to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She wants to become a family nurse practitioner.
Eldridge is the daughter of Adam and Tara Eldridge of Vaiden.
Faulkner said he was urged by Michele Milling, a math teacher at Winona High School, to apply for the scholarship and his mom, Laura Faulkner, convinced him to apply.
“My mom wanted me to do it because she knew that it would be a really good thing for me to do,” he said.
Faulkner said the application was long and tedious, but he took a chance.
It’s something he’s familiar with, as a baseball player for the Tigers Baseball team and a member of the Tigers football team. In sports, you have to take chances to get to the win. And for Faulkner, this chance paid off.
He said the qualifications of the scholarship focused on athletics, academics, and community service. Not only is Faulkner a student athlete, he also in Beta Club and a member of the Super Scholars.
“They want you to have good grades, be athletic, and be an all-around stand up citizen,” he said.
These are qualities Faulkner exhibits and teachers like Milling recognize in him.
He said when he learned that he won, he was really excited. And his mom and dad were as well.
“My mom was really, really excited. She knew it would help me get to the next step in life,” Faulkner said.
He said when he graduates Winona High School, he wants to attend Mississippi State University and major in civil engineering. He said he’s not sure what he wants to do with it just yet.
“When I was looking into majors, I stumbled across it and after reading about it, I think it’s something that I want to do.”
Faulkner is the son of Frank and Laura Faulkner of Winona.