GHS grads chasing dreams

Published 2:53 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Raymond Moody had his share of late night and early-morning cram sessions during the last four years.

It all paid off.

Moody, a star pitcher for Greenville High School, is the Class of 2011’s valedictorian. He said excelling on the diamond and in the classroom took equal parts discipline and hard work.

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“I stayed up late and got up early,” Moody said with a laugh. “Sometimes it was hard to stay on top of my school work during baseball season, but I just had to make sure I was working hard at both.”

Moody, the Tigers’ ace hurler, will attend Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia on a full baseball scholarship. Moody expects to join the Saints’ pitching rotation.

“I’ve always wanted to do this,” Moody said. “I’ve been playing baseball since I started walking, and this is something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m really excited to have the chance to play college baseball.”

Moody, who is undecided on a major, hopes to transfer to a larger university and continue to play baseball. But for now, he’s thrilled to be Saint.

“(Going to college) is exciting,” Moody said. “I’ll miss going to school with my friends and playing baseball for (Greenville) coach (Brad) Horn, but I’m looking forward to meeting new people and figuring out what to do with my life.”

Moody admitted he was a little surprised when he learned that he was Greenville’s valedictorian.

That’s because he thought Garrett Hartley would receive the honor.

Instead, Hartley is Greenville’s salutatorian.

“I was very pleased when I found out that I was the salutatorian,” Hartley said. “I was proud of what I done and that the hard work I put in had paid off.”

Hartley, a member of the school’s marching band, was involved in numerous extracurricular activities and said the key to his success in the classroom was “staying diligent.”

He plans to attend UAB where he will be a Pre-Med student, while participating in UAB’s marching band. Hartley said his biology teacher, Kimberly Bowen, in particular inspired him.

“It’s something I always wanted to study,” Hartley said.

“I’ve always wanted to help people, and science has always been something that has interested me.”

Hartley, who starred in Greenville High School’s spring musical, hopes to continue to pursue opportunities to act and sing at UAB. He’s also looking forward to beginning the next chapter of his life.

“I’m excited about the new opportunity,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and to the atmosphere of education.”

Greenville principal Brad Cook is confident that both Moody and Hartley will adjust well to the rigors of college life.

“Both are exceptional young men,” Greenville High School principal Brad Cook said.

“They work hard in the classroom and are really both very talented. I’m sure they’ll both be successful in whatever they choose to do.”