Surry Central High School honored its first three Athlete of the Month honorees during last week’s basketball Alumni Game festivities.
Each year, Edward Jones Investments partners with Surry Central to promote student-athletes through the Athlete of the Month award. This award is based on nominations from coaches and then voted on by coaches and administrators at the school. Students must excel both in competition and in the classroom in order to be considered.
For the first three months of the year, the honors went to footballer Martin Palacios (August), cross-country runner Erick Ramirez-Ramos (September) and soccer player Nolan McMillen (October).
Ladies and Gentlemen please direct your attention to the Half Court where Surry Central Principal/Assistant Principal/Athletic Director (Celia Hodges, Cheryl Hicks, Colby Beamer/Myles Wilmoth) is joined by Mr. Paul Bunke, Financial Advisor of Edward Jones Investments here in the Dobson office.
Palacios, one of the leaders on the Golden Eagle football team than went 11-2 and won the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference title in 2016, was named All-Conference for the second year in a row this past fall. Even though Central endured a rebuilding year in 2017, Palacios still led the team in rushing with 1136 yards and also in passing with 439 yards. He led Central with a dozen touchdowns and broke the school record for the longest rushing touchdown when he ran 95 yards for a score against Atkins. In that game, he rushed for 288 yards, second all-time in school history for a single game.
“Anyone who has taught this young man knows what a quality kid he is,” said head football coach Monty Southern. “Good student who also has good attendance. Very respectful and courteous.”
Ramirez-Ramos completed a fall season in which he had the second-fastest time in school history for 5K. During the fall, he won the Greensboro XC Invitational, the Fisher River Invitational, the Yadkin County Park 5K and the Forbush Two-Mile. He was second in the Statesville Invitational, where he competed against runner from 3A and 4A schools.
“This young man began early this summer setting very high goals that I told him were most likely unattainable. He has been training more intensely than anyone I’ve ever coached,” said coach Jason Bryant. “After I give him his training or workouts, most of the time he asks me if he can run longer, run more repeats of a workout, or run faster workout times. His goals keep getting bigger and more absurd. At this point there is no denying that he is going to accomplish some of those absurd goals.”
McMillen was named as a speaking captain for the Central soccer team as a sophomore. He led the team with six assists this season and was tied for first on the club with eight goals scored. During the 2017 season, in which Central reached the third round of the 2A state playoffs, he was deployed primarily at center-mid, used on left and on defense when the Golden Eagles were trying to hold a lead. Head coach Blake Roth said that McMillen made the team better regardless of position played, and covered more ground per game than any other position while rarely coming out.
“This young man is a coach’s player. He will do whatever if asked of him and never question the motive or reasoning,” said Roth. “He is one of the most competitive athletes I’ve ever coached and simply doesn’t understand how to quit or back down from a challenge. He has the highest athletic IQ I’ve ever had the privilege of coaching.”
Each award winner will receive a plaque designating them as an Athlete of the Month and a $10 gift certificate from the Central Sandwich Shop.