The Mark Dudley Knights Court Athletic Scholarships have been a part of Harker Heights High School since the school opened in 2000.
On Monday, the tradition will continue when four Heights athletes are awarded $1,500 scholarships at the spring sports banquet.
The scholarship was originally just the Knights Court Athletic scholarship before the name was changed after the passing of Dudley, one of the first presidents of the booster club who remained heavily involved with the club after his children graduated from Harker Heights.
“He’s really given a lot to Harker Heights,” girls track and field coach Michelle Womack said. “So after he passed away, we named the scholarship in his memory.”
This year, like most years, there will be four scholarship recipients.
But Womack said the club has awarded as many as eight scholarships in one year thanks to extra money raised from fundraisers.
Student-athletes can apply for the scholarship, which takes into account extracurricular activities, volunteer work and college plans among other things.
“The major part is they have to write an essay about what Harker Heights athletics has meant to them,” Womack added. “And that’s the biggest thing.”
Not only do members of the booster club help with the selection process, but school sponsors do as well.
In that sense, the scholarship is truly a part of the community.
It is fitting for a program that has given so much to Heights athletes over the years.
“It’s been a great deal,” Womack said. “We’ve given out at least $6,000 in scholarships pretty much every year, so that’s touched so many lives as far as kids being able to help afford going to school.
“And that’s been going on for 13 years. So, you multiply that times 13 years, that’s a lot of money that’s gone out to help students be able to go to college.”