Within the last week, the Kilgore Rotary Club had the privilege of honoring two Kilgore High School and two Sabine High School seniors with Rotary Scholar Athlete awards.

Unfortunately, the usual celebratory lunch and presentation wasn’t possible this year, due to the coronavirus caution. But the awards were presented in person individually to the four scholar athletes. Award-winners from KHS were Dayton McElyea and Spencer Thompson, and award-winners for Sabine were Landon McKinney and Macy Rutland.

McElyea is the daughter of Dale and Christy McElyea. While Dayton excelled in volleyball, and helped Kilgore have its best season in over 25 years, she also maintained a GPA of 103.9. She is president of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and the National Honor Society.

She is the co-editor of the KHS yearbook, belongs to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and participated in UIL academic editorial writing. Dayton is a member of Forest Home Baptist Church and has participated in numerous volunteer community service projects. She plans to attend Texas A&M University in College Station.

Thompson is the son of Shannon and Allyson Thompson. He played for the Diamond ‘Dogs, Kilgore High School’s baseball team, and most recently helped them get to the state tournament (in 2019; the season wasn’t finished this year).

He has maintained a 99.9 GPA. His school activities include the National Honor Society, student council and UIL participation. His community service participation includes the senior breakfast, NHS activities and clean-up projects at his church. He enjoys fishing, hiking and disc golf. Spencer also plans to attend Texas A&M.

Macy Rutland is the daughter of Kelly and Dana Rutland. Macy excelled in golf and cross-country for the Cardinals, and will graduate with honors. She participated in the dual credit program, was a member of Anchor Club, the Honor Society, and participated in UIL computer competition.

Macy is a member of Mobberly Avenue Baptist Church, where she helps with child care programs and the nursery. She plans to attend and play golf at Northeastern State in Oklahoma.

Landon is the son of Joshe and Tracy McKinney. Landon has played football and baseball, and ran track for Sabine, and will graduate with honors. He was the quarterback for the Cardinals in the most successful football season in school history.

He is a also member of Anchor Club, as well as the Spanish Club. His community service participation includes mentoring to local youth and helping with mentally disabled children at Grace Baptist Church, where he is a member. He plans to play football for Howard Payne University in the fall.

David Castles, chairman of the Scholar Athlete Award Committee for the Rotary Club, presented to each honoree a $500 scholarship check, a commemoratory plaque, and a U.S. flag, which was flown over the U.S. capitol, provided by U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert.


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