Jeffries played soccer for four years and tennis for three at Lincoln, and he also spent two years on the cross country team and one on the track and field team earlier in his high school career.
Soccer was his athletic passion. He was a team captain for three years, and he said one of the honors he is most proud of was being named the team’s most valuable player following a 2010 season that was one of the Patriots’ best ever. The Patriots went 15-5-2 and were 30th District runners-up just two years after going winless in Jeffries’ sophomore season.
“It was a pretty big year. We had a great season, and being able to be called the MVP meant a lot,”¿said Jeffries, who also won the team’s 110 percent and extra mile awards.
Jeffries said his work in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program is another of his most meaningful activities. He served for two years as a “big brother” to a boy who is about to enter the fifth grade.
“He was in need of a male role model — he had five sisters and a single mom — and seeing the change in the two years I was mentoring him, it was amazing,” he said.
Jeffries has also taken mission trips to Mississippi and Guatemala with groups from Calvary Baptist Church in Danville and has been involved in other outreach projects through the church. He has also served for four years on the church’s youth leadership team and has helped lead recreation activities at its vacation Bible school for three years.
In addition, he has participated in cleanup following the 2010 flood in Casey County, trash cleanup on country roads, assisting runners in the 2010 Bourbon Chase 200-mile run and in American Cancer Society Relay for Life, March of Dimes and UNICEF fundraisers. He also was heavily involved in a book drive for the Northpoint Training Center library that was destroyed by fire in 2009, collecting 439 of the 1,752 books received.
At school, he had a 4.0 unweighted grade-point average and a 4.558 weighted GPA, and he admitted to being disappointed that he didn’t finish as one of the top two students in his class.
“The two people ahead of me, it was within three one-thousandths of a point,” he said. “It was very tough to lose like that.”
Jeffries was a 2010 Commonwealth Ambassador and a Coca-Cola Leadership Award semifinalists and a 2009 Rogers Scholar. He was vice president of his senior class, president of his school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter and a Beta Club member.
He volunteered as a soccer official for local Special Olympics competitions for years, and he works as an official in local youth and middle school games.
“I wanted to play in college, but going into engineering I just won’t be able to,” he said.
Good math skills are a must for engineers, and Jeffries said he credits Kevin Bandura, who teaches algebra and an advanced placement statistics class at Lincoln, with stoking his interest in the subject.
“He taught me some algebra basics that got me really interested in math,” Jeffries said. “He made me realize how much I like math and helped me become good at it.”
Jeffries said he hopes to put his engineering skills to use in Kentucky but doesn’t know whether he’ll be in Lincoln County or somewhere else.
“Hopefully I can do some tech and computer work when I get older,” he said. “I’m really into computers, and I figure technology will be the future.”
Patterson has played soccer and baseball throughout his four years in high school, but he said his goal has long been to earn a scholarship in academics rather than athletics, and he has had his sights set on one of Kentucky’s presidential scholarships, one of the highest academic awards the school offers.
So he said he was feeling the pressure as he tried to reach the required ACT score of 28 needed to qualify for that scholarship. He had gotten a 26 as a junior and had three test dates during the past school year, but he came up short on his first two attempts.
“There was a lot of pressure going into that last (test date). I took a (preparatory) class in Lexington, and thank goodness I got a 29,” he said. “That was my main goal coming into high school, that I wanted to get a presidential scholarship. It was a hard road, but I did it.”
Patterson has done plenty of other things during his four years at Mercer. His community service work includes mission trips through his church, St. Andrew Catholic Church in Harrodsburg, to Louisville, Jackson, Miss., and Toledo, Ohio.
He said the trip to Mississippi, where he worked at a day care center for children of families who couldn’t afford to pay for day care, was particularly moving.
“I had kids coming up and talking to us about what their lives like, and it was eye-opening,” he said.
He has volunteered with the Mercer County Snack Pack program, in the extended care unit at the Harrodsburg hospital, at a soup kitchen/homeless shelter in Lexington, by visiting a local nursing home and through an adopt-a-family program.
He earned academic all-state recognition for four straight years in both baseball and soccer, was a Beta Club and National Honor Society member and was named one of the Advocate’s inaugural group of “Rising Stars” earlier this spring. He also served on his school’s student advisory panel and was in its FCA¿chapter.
Patterson finished second in his class with a 4.27 weighted GPA, and his unweighted GPA of 3.98 would have been a perfect 4.0 if not for a B in calculus in his junior year.
“It was tough, but that’s my favorite subject. I took it during baseball season, and baseball takes a lot of time. But I took Calculus II this year and got all A’s,” he said. “I like the feeling of once you get a report card back and you got straight A’s, it’s a good feeling inside you.”
He said his favorite teacher was not a math teacher, however, but was literature teacher Erin Milburn.
“Most everyone has seen the movies where students come out learning more about life, but that’s really what she does,” Patterson said. “We read books about real-life people, and I learned so many life lessons in there. I looked forward to it every day. She’s been through these things that we’re about to go to.”
Patterson is ready to pick up some real-life experiences of his own, but his plans are to return to Harrodsburg, perhaps to apply his degree at one of the local industries.
“I want to come back to Harrodsburg. ... I¿love the small-town community, and all my family and friends live here,” he said.
Patterson’s school days are over, but his high school baseball career continues as long as Mercer remains alive in the state baseball tournament, and he said he’s thrilled that his final game will be played at a state tournament.
“I can’t even explain the feeling of winning the regional championship. Everyone had tears in their eyes,” he said. “I’ve always come close to winning something big like that, but I’ve never had the experience of winning.”
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Winners of the Danville Office Equipment Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards:
2009 — Trey Edwards, Lincoln County, and Ben Slone, Boyle County (tie)
2010 — Byron Hempel, Danville
2011 — Brad Jeffries, Lincoln County, and Anthony Patterson, Mercer County (tie)