RHS valedictorian Malone UA bound
Editor’s Note: Franklin’s Future is a regular feature spotlighting a high school senior in Franklin County and what they have planned for life after graduation.
Russellville senior Drew Malone has been a standout in both sports and academics during his four years at Russellville High School.
On the court, the 17-year-old tennis player has been an integral part of the Golden Tiger tennis team and won the state title in the #4 singles division this season.
In the classroom, Malone’s top-notch grades earned him the title of valedictorian for the class of 2013.
Malone has also served as treasurer of the National Honor Society and a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Science Club, Chemistry Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Future Business Leaders of America, Christian Students United, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, and the basketball team.
And Malone has been a help around the community as well through his participation in the Franklin County Junior Leadership program, which helps students learn the value of community service and community awareness.
With all the activities he has been a part of the past four years, Malone said his favorite memories come from playing sports or going to Golden Tiger football games.
“I’ve loved going to Russellville and just being able to hang out with my friends and getting to grow up with the same people over the years,” he said.
“Russellville has a lot of traditions and I’m glad I was able to be part of those, especially all the school spirit at football games and pep rallies.
“Younger students should enjoy high school while it lasts because it doesn’t last long. It’s over before you know it and you should take advantage of every opportunity you’re given.”
Malone said he would miss seeing his friends on a regular basis once they graduate in a couple of weeks and all go their separate ways.
“It will be strange to not know everyone that I’ll be going to school with because that’s what I’m used to,” he said, “but I’m also looking forward to meeting new people in college and getting to choose my own class schedule.”
But what Malone said he was the most excited about was just the simple fact that he would soon be a full-time student at the University of Alabama, which has been a dream of his for a long time.
“I grew up going to Tuscaloosa to football games and basketball games, so it just feels like home there,” he said.
“I love how the campus is laid out and just the general feeling you get there on campus. It’s something I’ve always wanted to be a part of and now it’s finally happening so I’m excited about that.”
Malone said even though all of his high school friends may not be going with him to Tuscaloosa, he wouldn’t be completely on his own there.
“My brother, Bret, goes to school there too, so I’ve heard a lot of great things from him about being a student there,” he said.
“I’m ready to be a part of the school and go to as many games as I can.”
Malone said his brother has also been influential in the major he has chosen.
“I’m wanting to major in accounting or finance,” he said. “My brother is majoring in accounting and really likes it and I’ve always liked math and the money-side of things, so I think it’s a career I’ll enjoy.”
In anticipation of becoming part of the business world in the future, Malone was accepted and attended the Capstone Business Leadership Academy where he said he learned some good tips, like how and where to get a good job.
“I’ve liked growing up in Franklin County because everyone is friendly, but when I graduate, I’ll probably look at living in a bigger city like Birmingham, Nashville, Atlanta or even just staying in Tuscaloosa,” he said.
“One of the things they talked about at the business academy was where you could find good jobs in certain fields, and I think I would have better job opportunities living in a bigger city.”
In his spare time, Malone said he liked hanging out with his friends, playing tennis and playing golf.
Malone is the son of Richie and Angela Malone. He has an older brother, Bret, and a younger brother, Brock.