By Joshua Price/Sports Editor
Glencoe High School senior Christopher Tinker is known across Etowah County for his exceptional athletic skills.
What most people do not realize is that Tinker is as successful in the classroom as he is on the playing field.
Tinker was a four-sport athlete for the Yellow Jackets during his high school career and excelled in every sport he played in.
Tinker recently was named the winner of the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Award for Class 3A, Region 5. He is one of eight individuals from Class 3A to receive the prestigious award, which will yield $2,500 towards books and tuition.
The Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Program was created in 1986 by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Alabama High School Athletic Association. The program strives to recognize and honor Alabama students who have achieved a level of excellence in the areas of academics and athletics. Ninety-six scholarships are awarded annually to deserving high school seniors from schools that are members of the AHSAA.
Tinker will graduate near the top of his class next month, finishing Glencoe High School with a 4.0 grade point average. Most impressive is Tinker’s ACT score, which is a 30 out of a possible 36. Tinker’s ACT score alone will likely provide a full-academic scholarship to most any school he chooses to attend.
“It is quite an honor and I am excited about all of this,” Tinker said. “It means a great deal to me to get recognized for all the time and dedication I put into everything I did in school.”
Anyone who encounters Tinker walks away with the same feelings about him: he is genuine, intelligent, outgoing, humble, confident and well-spoken young man.
His athletic resume includes Class 3A football All-State laurels in 2010 and 2011, three time All-Region, three time All-County and the co-recipient of the Bobby Miles Award – which is given to the most valuable “all-around” player on the team. Tinker was named to the All-County and All-Region basketball teams both his junior and senior seasons. Tinker is the Low Medalist on the Yellow Jacket golf team and was a member of the school’s 4×100 relay team that placed third in the state track and field meet last year.
Tinker arguably is one of the county’s top athletes, but quickly points to others for his success.
“My family has been my support system and source of success. They have always been there for me and they drive me to be the best at whatever I choose to do.”
Glencoe head football coach Lee Ozmint said Tinker is very competitive and he thrives in clutch situations.
“This quality will carry him a long way in his life. Perhaps the most compelling character trait of Christopher Tinker is that he is humble. In spite of all the honors and accolades he has and has yet to recieve, he has remained humble throughout.”
Tinker said two of his high school coaches played a major role in his life.
“Coach [Lee] Ozmint has been like a father figure to me. I love him and treat him like he is part of my family. He has influenced me to be the best Christian male role model that I can be and has helped me realize I am a natural born leader and people will always look to see what I am doing and how I am doing it.”
According to Tinker, Glencoe head varsity basketball coach Ryan Barkley demanded maximum effort from day one of varsity practice.
“Coach Barkley pushed me from the moment I got on varsity my junior year. He never let me keep an ego and he always strived to be the best example to us as a team as he could be. I respect him greatly for that. He exemplified a great all-around man and I am thankful he was my coach.”
Ozmint praised Tinker for his unique personality.
“I have coached many young men over the course of my career, but I have not ever coached a young man quite like Christopher,” Ozmint said. “If you are the father of a boy, Christopher Tinker is everything you hope your son will be.”
Barkley said Tinker’s success is based upon his will to succeed.
“Christopher has a great combination of talent and a blue collar work ethic that made him successful in both sports. His attitude in practice and games was always positive and contagious to his teammates. He is as competitive in the classroom as he is in athletics, and the results speak for themselves. In short, Christopher is the ideal student-athlete.”
Classmate and teammate Austin Hancock summed Tinker’s character.
“He’s a great friend and has a free-spirited personality with a lot of integrity. He’s just a fun guy to be around. Tinker is a very competitive person in any sport. He’s a great athlete and is very sharp academically. The 110 percent attitude he gives on the playing field carries over into the classroom. He will succeed in anything he chooses to do in the future.”
Tinker will attend Auburn University this fall and plans to major in Civil Engineering with a minor in Business, Economics or Finance.
Ozmint is proud of Tinker and looks forward to seeing his career unfold.
“I can’t wait to see how far he goes in this Bryant Jordan Scholarship program. But what is most exciting to me will be to see how far Christopher Tinker goes in life. I just hope in some way I did something to help a young man like that. That is why I do this job.”