ANDERSON — Anderson High School’s Justin Fuller and Highland High School’s Stormy Holder were honored Wednesday as the first recipients of The Herald Bulletin Johnny Wilson Award.

The award was created this year to honor one male and one female athlete from 11 area high schools who compete in at least three sports during the school year.

The ceremony was held at the Paramount Theatre Ballroom. Wilson was on hand for the award presentation, as was his boyhood friend Carl Erskine, who served as keynote speaker.

“Johnny made some great choices in his life,” said Erskine during his address. “He listened to the right people. Growing up, he was one of the last people you would have thought would accomplished all that he has.”

Erskine stressed to the 16 nominees for the award that they should look to Wilson for an example of how to direct their lives.

“I always say that when Johnny and I went to school we were 4.0 grade point average students,” Erskine said. “I was 2.0, and Johnny was 2.0. But it shows that you don’t always need to have the best talent or make the best grades. It really doesn’t matter what you have. It matters what you do with what you have.”

Wilson first presented a medallion to each of the nominees. After Erskine’s talk, he went to the podium to offer his advice and encouragement.

“I am glad to see all of you here as three-sport athletes,” said Wilson. “You are a vanishing breed. One of the values of a three-sport athlete is that it keeps the student doing and thinking the right things. It puts them on the right path.”

Fuller and Holder each received a glass trophy, although Holder was unable to attend the ceremony. Accepting for her was Highland Athletic Director Neal Rector. Rector’s father, Jack, was a boyhood friend of both Wilson and Erskine.

Mike Casuscelli, publisher of The Herald Bulletin, served as master of ceremonies and introduced both Wilson and Erskine. He pointed out the strong role model examples shown by both men.

The nominees were presented and the winners announced by Adam Wire, The Herald Bulletin’s Sports Editor.

Each winner also received a $500 scholarship sponsored by the Madison County Community Foundation. Both The Herald Bulletin and the Madison County Community Foundation have committed to making the award and the scholarship a yearly event.

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