SPA News

What's Happening in Senior Softball


Austin  Nestor, 2015 Norton graduate, was awarded a $500 scholarship from Softball Players Association for his exceptional character and work ethics.

Nestor is currently an Akron University junior working towards a degree in Criminal Intelligence. He already has an Associates degree in Criminal Justice. In addition he is registered with the State of Ohio as a  Pharmacist and works at the ACME pharmacy.

A workaholic , the Norton grad is working this summer as a landscaper with White Landscaping.

"My parents (David and Sharon) brought me up to believe hard work is the secret to success and I have followed their example," he said. "I am greatly appreciative of the SPA scholarship, it is really needed and I will show them they made the right decision in choosing me."

SPA is a national senior softball association located in Mustang, Oklahoma and this is the 65th scholarship awarded in the past  20 years and the fourth to a Norton-Barberton student. THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC senior softball tournament is the local SPA representative.

Barberton's Tyler Owen received one in 2014 and in 2018 SPA along with the TBC donated $1,000 to the Barberton Karen Burnette Scholarship Fund.

"When I was 16 and didn't have money for college a local church donated $500 to my college education," SPA Executive Director Ridge Hooks said. "Since then I have tried to repay the Church and the Lord for how they helped me by helping others."

"And I believe this year Austin is the perfect recipient of the award.":

SPA and BUCKEYE CLASSIC Give Scholarship

SPA and THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC each donated $500 to the KAREN LEE BURNETTE SCHOLARSHIP FUND June 19 at Thee Buckeye Classic tournament.

Burnette taught at Barberton High School for 29 years in addition to serving as a counselor. She passed away February 2, 2018.

A scholarship fund has been set up by her husband MARCO BURNETTE with the BARBERTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION to award two $1,000 scholarships each year to a Barberton graduates.

The requirements are they must live in the city and carry a 2.00 GPA.

As a teacher BURNETTE concentrated on underprivileged, under-served and what many considered average students

"Those are the types of students KAREN would have wanted her scholarship to serve," MARCO BURNETTE said. "Kids who are on the border line of being college eligible but are hard working and trying to improve and have a true desire for a college education."

"Karen was a very caring, loving and giving person who always thought of others before herself," he added. " She touched the lives of many people over the years, both students and adults.I know she would really appreciate the kind scholarship contributions by SPA and THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC'

This was the first scholarship donation by THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC but the 65th for SPA and its second to a BARBERTON student.

In 2014 SPA awarded a $500 scholarship to TYLER OWEN who attended AKRON U.

"We (SPA) has been awarding $500 scholarships for the past 18 years," HOOKS said. "It may not seem like much but to families which do not have much money, it is a lot."

"When my dad died, I was 16 and the local church donated $500 to my college education," HOOKS said. "To me it was a lot of money and I try to repay what the church did for me to others who have the same situation."