Football in Gwinnett County hardly needs an introduction. Friday night lights beam bright enough to signal other galaxies and are certainly bright enough to attract the attention of the angels. One angel watches over a very special group of players who have received a scholarship in remembrance of a tiny fighter named Wyn Scott.
His very short life has made an enormous impact on student athletes from several schools since 2006. The tragedy of losing a child became the reason and drive behind a scholarship fund lovingly brought to life by a mother and father, Stephanie and Tommy Scott. “When people ask me why I do this, why I put in the energy, I tell them it is for the kids; it is all about the kids,” says Stephanie Scott, Wyn’s mother. “Wyn was such a fighter in the NICU and I want these kids to have that same kind of fight when it comes to their own lives.”
Stephanie credits the way the Gwinnett football community reached out to her and her husband upon the loss of their son while Tommy was coaching at South Gwinnett. “They held us up and gave us so much support,” says Stephanie. Tommy is now the Defensive Coordinator at Mill Creek where the Scotts also give a Mill Creek specific Win for Wyn Scholarship.
“We reward strength, determination, and character in Gwinnett County football seniors with college scholarships in memory of our son Wyn,” explains Stephanie. “We have been fortunate enough to offer 17 scholarships since 2006 in Gwinnett County and our recipients tell us that our scholarships are not just about financial support. They instill belief, provide inspiration, and most importantly give hope.”
The 2013 Win For Wyn Scholarship winners came from a very tight pool of students who not only showed exemplary sportsmanship, but also leadership, community service, high grades and the characteristics of strength, determination and character. The selection process is extensive including an in-depth questionnaire and interviews. “Our selection committee even includes Mike Emery (Athletic Director, Gwinnett County Schools) and Dr. James Taylor (Executive Director of the Department of Academic Support for Gwinnett County Schools),” says Stephanie.
The 2013 Top 5 Finalists were featured on the Gwinnett Prep Rally Show on GCPS on November 26th. “Our two winners, Deion King of Buford and Mason Brown of Berkmar, will have an interview shown on December 3rd,” says Stephanie. “Deion and Mason are some of the finest young men I have ever been so blessed to know.” Both players have maintained exemplary grades and are completely dedicated to their community.
“Getting to know Mrs. Scott has been a life-changing experience,” says Mason. “I want to be all that I can for my community and she completely supports those dreams.” Mason is involved in youth ministry at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Norcross and attends Berkmar High School. “I want to be that story to the kids I teach-the one that Mrs. Scott has been for me-an inspiration.”
For Buford’s, Deion King, football is a means to push himself beyond his current state. Never satisfied with where he is; Deion wonders where he could go next by looking forward. “While for some, the prospect of having just won a state championship may be a legitimate reason for remaining content; for the players and coaches at Buford High School this is not the case,” says Deion. “Rather than become satisfied, my team became more motivated than ever before to chase greatness rather than mere championships.” According to Deion, a state title was no longer the ceiling placed on success. Being the best Buford team ever became the benchmark. This winning attitude is what helped him in his quest to secure the Win for Wyn scholarship.
Friday nights in the fall will continue to showcase the best football talent in the county under bright lights. For the recipients of the Win for Wyn Scholarship, there is a certain special light shining down on them as they play and as they go forth into their lives to make a difference to others. Each recipient will remember the tiny life with the enormous fight and his parents who turned a tragic event into an inspiring legacy.
For more information: www.WinforWyn.org