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Sallie: It#039;s a great feeling.#039;

McKenzie High senior Rickie Sallie Jr., son of Rickie Sallie Sr. and Carol Sallie, was named the recipient of the male Achiever Award Thursday night in Greenville.

Sallie, a four-year quarterback at McKenzie High, team captain, leading rusher and All-State honorable mention, said he is excited about winning the award.

"It's a great feeling," he said. "I never thought this would happen to me but you have great people out there and they see talent and, when they see it, they feast on it."

Sallie said he is very thankful to everyone involved in the Achiever Award program.

"I think I am very deserving of this award and I would like to thank all the committees and everyone who helped prepare this," he said. "It's been a wonderful occasion, and hopefully next year, the people that they vote in will be just the same as I am: confident and a great athlete."

He added that being selected to receive the Achiever Award is the greatest honor of his academic career.

Sallie's honors and achievements include: FBLA, Nu Alpha Theta (math honor society), FFA, Science Club, FACTS, Spanish Club, Beta Club and the Fellowship of Active Christian Teachers and Students. He has held the office of vice president of the Science Club and is a Boys State Representative.

Sallie signed a letter of intent with the University of West Alabama in February and will possibly start this season with the football team.

He recently said he hopes to continue to be involved in athletics, whether it be playing or coaching. He helped lead the 2001-2002 McKenzie High football team to the playoffs gaining 1,076 yards rushing last season on 117 attempts with ten touchdowns on the ground and 769 passing yards with nine touchdowns via the air. He averaged 9.1 yards per carry and completed the season with a total of 1,845 yards and an outstanding19 touchdowns.

He said that he plans to major in sports and fitness management and has decided to make his educational career his top priority. He also said that no matter what happens, he will always want to be involved in sports.

Sallie was recognized with an honorable mention for quarterback in the All-State selection and set a McKenzie High record for most yards rushing during the regular season with 1,021 yards. He set the record in nine games and all his statistics were accumulated over 10 games due to his missing one game because of an injury.

Sallie also has achieved several academic honors in addition to his selection as a Boys State Representative.

He said he would like to thank all who have helped him achieve the goals he` has reached up to this point in his life.

"I would like to thank my parents, my family and my friends," he added.

Sallie will begin his college career this fall at the University of West Alabama.

"For me, [high school] graduation is like opening a door," he said. "It is one stage of your life. Now, from 18 years old to whenever or wherever you go, it's you. You have got to realize that."