February 25, 2014

New scholarship a win on, off the court

When the final buzzer sounded at the trade center Tuesday night, Dalton State College men’s basketball team had notched yet another victory to close its successful return season. But there was another win at halftime, when there were no three-pointers being sank, shots being blocked or passes being made.

That’s when Dalton State athletic director Derek Waugh announced a new scholarship had been created for athletes. The FSG Bank Corporate Scholarship is funded by the bank, which has locations in Tennessee and north Georgia, including Dalton.

The school will receive an annual $10,000 academic grant that will be divided among one athlete in each of the nine sports who “best exemplifies outstanding academic, athletic and community service,” Waugh said. The sports are men’s basketball, women’s volleyball, competitive cheerleading, and men’s and women’s cross country, golf and tennis.

During these hard economic times, paying for school can be a financial burden. Any type of assistance is helpful. We applaud FSG Bank for funding this scholarship.

Better yet, the scholarship’s requirements stress academic success. In an age where athletes leave school early for professional dreams, it’s refreshing to see a move to reward student-athletes who put the classroom as a top priority.

It also has been refreshing to watch the Roadrunners play basketball this season — and equally as enjoyable to see them succeed. After a 35-year break when then-named Dalton Junior College ended its basketball program, Dalton State finished the program’s relaunch with a 26-4 record, culminating in a 75-68 win over Chattanooga’s Tennessee Temple Tuesday night.

If this first season tells anything about the future, Dalton State will have many more wins than losses on the court and beyond.

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