Former Burke County youth recreation league coach Johnny Tate’s memory continues to live on, as the Coach Tate Foundation recently awarded a pair of $1,000 scholarships in his honor.
The 2011 recipients were recent high school graduates Cody Brown (Draughn) and Jon Swanson (East Burke), each of whom played basketball last season at the prep level.
The Johnny Tate Student Athletic Scholarship, which was presented for the first time in 2010 to East Burke’s Josh Debro, is awarded to a senior who shows outstanding athletic ability, who cares about others and is interested in serving the community.
East Burke does not sport any athletes that played for Tate on Drexel rec league teams, but the Tate Foundation wanted to continue to award a scholarship to a Cavalier athlete, like Swanson, that showed leadership for his high school team.
Swanson earned All-CVAC honors and led the Cavaliers in assists (6.1 average) while averaging 7.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.0 steals as a senior guard and team captain.
“I’m very honored to receive this scholarship, and it’s a really great honor,” said Swanson.
The Wildcat recipient, Brown, averaged 11.5 points and 6.0 rebounds and shot 43 percent from field as a senior forward. Brown gave credit to Tate – whom he played for during part of the legendary coach’s 35-year career in Drexel – for helping hone his skills.
Swanson plans to attend N.C. State University to study Biomedical Engineering and attempt to walk on for the Wolfpack men’s basketball team. Brown is currently undecided on his college choice.