ASKEWILLE - The Eric Baggett tournament, is held every year (except for last year due to COVID) to remember Eric Baggett. The tournament is also meant to be a reminder to the players that texting and driving or distracted driving can be fatal, as in the case of Eric.

At the conclusion of play, trophies are presented to the junior varsity and varsity championship teams, the second place teams, the varsity boys and girls most valuable player along with scholarship awards.

Two students from each team that participates in the tournament, can be nominated to receive a scholarship. Each player nominated must have maintained a “B” average and be interested in going to college.

The top two selectees will receive $750 in scholarship funds, while the remaining nominees get $500.

The distribution of the funds was based on several criteria. The student must obtain two letters of recommendation from a viable individual, like a pastor, employer, etc.

Next the nominees must write an essay on texting and driving or distracted driving. The nominee’s must provide their grade point average (GPA) from junior through senior year. The nominees will be interviewed by the six Eric Baggett tournament board members. The board members will ask each nominee a battery of questions and grade their response.

Lastly, the nominees character will be observed throughout the tournament both on and off the court.

Each year approximately $8,000-$10,000 is raised to help support the tournament. These funds are strictly for tournament use only. The funds are raised through tournament proceeds, (concession stand, entrance fee and selling T-shirts). Funds are also donated by local business establishments and individuals.

Additional funds are contributed in the form of a gospel concert that is held in April. At the concert there are tables that seat eight people. The tables cost $100 each. Chicken and Seafood dinners are available. So people can sit back and enjoy a good meal while listening to some gospel music. All the proceed’s from that event will go toward the Baggett Tournament.

The following athletes were selected for the Eric Baggett scholarship award: Eliana Bazemore (Bethel Assembly Christian Academy) $750, Carter Hatcher (Northeast Academy) $500, Trent Hoggard (Ahoskie Christian) $500, Emalee Jones (Northeast Academy) $500, Camryn Joyner (Ridgecroft) $500, Caleb Porter (Ridgcroft) $750 and Brandon Williams (Bethel Assembly Christian Academy) $500.

All scholarships awarded, will be held until the recipients have officially enrolled into college.

Andre' Alfred is a Sports/Staff Writer and Photographer for the Bertie Ledger-Advance, Chowan Herald, Perquimans Weekly and The Enterprise. He can be reached via email at aalfred@ncweeklies.com.