RHS seniors receive scholar-athlete awards
Austin Kitterman and Grace Mitchell of Russellville High School were recently named school winners for the prestigious Wendy’s High School Heisman® Award, which highlights exceptional high school seniors and their achievements in the classroom, on the field and in the community.
Kitterman and Mitchell will move on for consideration in the next stage of the program, where one of them could be named a state finalist. “We are honored to have two of our students recognized as some of the country’s top student-athletes with the Wendy’s High School Heisman name,” said Dr. Tim Guinn, principal of RHS.
Mitchell has played tennis since she was 8 years old. While in the eighth grade, she received the opportunity to play at the varsity level for the high school. Throughout her varsity career she has held one of the top three courts. During her high school tennis career, she has had the chance to play court one.
She plans to either attend UAB or UNA with a biomedical degree, or enroll in UAB’s optometry school.
“I greatly appreciate this award from Wendy’s Heisman. Playing with such a great team and inspiring coaches has helped us build character, responsibility and teamwork to reach our goals,” Mitchell said. “I have no doubt that with such dedicated and hardworking girls, the 2016 season will be the best one yet.”
Kitterman was involved in an ATV accident in September of last year and suffered a traumatic brain injury. The doctors didn’t give him much hope to live, but over the past year he has been completely healed. Doctors also told him he would never play sports again or even graduate from high school with his class. Since then, Kitterman has returned to playing baseball and won a state championship in May. During the same week he won the state championship in baseball, he was also inducted into the National Honor Society. He plans to attend Union University to play baseball and major in biblical theology.
For 22 years, Wendy’s, in partnership with the Heisman Memorial Trophy, has recognized outstanding students and rewarded their commitment and achievements to academics, athletics and community on a national level. The next announcement will include the names of the state finalists selected from every
state and the District of Columbia. Following the state finalists’ announcement, the names of the two
state winners, one male and one female, will be revealed before the field is narrowed down to 10
national finalists. The 10 national finalists, five males and five females, and their families will receive an
all-expense paid trip to New York City to attend the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award Ceremony and the announcement of the two national winners.
For more information or to track Mitchell’s and Kitterman’s progress through the competition, visit
Created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas in 1994, the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award has honored more than 600,000 of the nation’s most esteemed high school seniors who have been a part of
the program for the past 22 years.