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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : community : community October 1, 2020

5/18/2020 4:22:00 PM
Kelton Towery Hits An Academic Homerun!
Kelton Towery shows hissupport for N.C. State. He’ll beat the university come August. (Photos Courtesy Angie Towery)
Kelton Towery shows his
support for N.C. State. He’ll be
at the university come August.

(Photos Courtesy Angie Towery)
Kelton Towery pitches for West Lincoln High during a recent baseball game. Towery is the school’s valedictorian for the class of 2020.
Kelton Towery pitches for West
Lincoln High during a recent baseball
game. Towery is the school’s
valedictorian for the class of 2020.

+ view more photos
Towery waves to his many fans
during the recent parade.

Thomas Lark
Staff Writer

WEST LINCOLN––You might say that Kelton Blake Towery has really hit a homerun.

Yes, literally and figuratively. Towery, a noted West Lincoln High baseball standout (a pitcher and an infielder), is the school’s valedictorian for the class of 2020. With his long hair, chiselled features and rock-star good looks, Towery is picture-perfect for the role––just like one of those stars from a 1980’s movie.

The Herald caught up this weekend with the son of Jonathan and Angie Towery. The proud mom and her accomplished son told us all about what will surely be a bright future for an even brighter young man.

Young Towery earned an associate in science degree by combining AP (or advanced-placement) courses and taking courses through Gaston College’s dual-enrollment program. By achieving his two-year degree early, Towery will potentially save some $48,000.

He is just as accomplished academically as he is athletically. Towery was an “A” honor roll student throughout his years at WLHS. His high school unweighted GPA (grade-point average) is a perfect 4.00; weighted, 4.656; unofficial, 4.731; and his Gaston College GPA is likewise a 4.00, as he told The Herald.

“Whereas I technically graduated from college before I will graduate from high school, it never bothered me that I wouldn’t walk with my Gaston College class,” he revealed. “However, the thought of not getting to have a traditional ceremony with my high school peers has been a real disappointment.”

Towery was referring to State-mandated virus-related restrictions that have put the kybosh on such commencement ceremonies (amongst a host of other things) throughout most of America.

“Some people may not understand how important that is to all of the other seniors and me,” he said. “But it’s part of our journey that we have looked forward to. I know that there’s always a positive way to look at things. Yes, I am thankful that we all have our good health. But we are not selfish for wanting to have that moment with our class, with our people.

“This pandemic has been challenging and has had me feeling many different ways,” he added. “I miss my classmates, and I miss my teachers. Although I know graduation is about to happen, I really wish that we could just go back to school to have some last good times and to have that closure.” 

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An outstanding athlete and volunteer
To date, Towery has really made a name for himself among the Rebels’ athletes.

His accolades include being the male school winner of the Wendy’s Heisman High School Scholarship. He earned the Dixie Youth Baseball Scholarship and the Thomas E. and Betty Potts Scholarship.

Towery has served three years on the Christian Ministry of Lincoln County Board. At WLHS, he holds the positions of National Honor Society parliamentarian and Interact Club vice president. He’s a member of the National Technical Honor Society and the Beta, Math and Off-the-Shelf Book clubs. He was a junior marshal last year. He’s an AP scholar and scholar-athlete. Throughout high school, he took honors classes, AP and Career College Promise courses. He competed in mathematics and chemistry competitions. He was certified for computer code, PowerPoint and Microsoft. He received the senior superlative, “Most Likely to Save the Planet.”

Outside of school, Towery is an active member of the Cherryville Traditional New Year Shooters. And he is a first-generation college student. Come August, he’ll be at North Carolina State University in the Poole College of Management. And even though he doesn’t know what he wants to do when he “grows up,” he plans to double-major in business and engineering.

Towery’s favorite subject is math. He spoke highly of West Lincoln’s teachers and extolled the impact they’ve had upon the lives of their students. Amongst his favorite teachers is math teacher and N.C. State alumnus Ronald Patten. Towery thanked Patten for inspiring him to consider State as his own university choice.

“He has ways that make learning fun,” he said of his teacher.

And Towery expressed some evident surprise at being his school’s top student.

“To be honest,” he said, “my goal was to be in the top ten of my class of 185. Once I achieved that goal, I set a new one to be in the top three. I really never thought I would see number one. But it sure feels good to know that my dedication in academics paid off. No matter where you are in life-set goals, you never know what you can achieve if you work hard and stay consistent. Take time to share a smile and reach out to help people every chance you get. Never grow complacent. And most importantly, stay humble.”

Of hobbies, friends and more sports
Towery has quite the ménagerie, including two dogs and a dozen goats. His hobbies include playing video games with his friends and fishing. He says that fishing is both relaxing and challenging. But most of all, it helps him get in some quality time with his dad.

Towery played basketball during his freshman and sophomore years before deciding to focus on baseball. He played baseball for all four years of high school.

“This season was just like school,” he observed, “nothing close to how I thought it would be. I never expected that I wouldn’t return to the field after that fourth game. I had big hopes that somehow the games would kick back up. We had big dreams. It felt like it was going to be another promising season. I have missed it every day since March 13.”

Towery and his team were in the Two-A Baseball Playoffs for three straight years, 2017-19. Last year, they were the Western Regional Two-A Baseball Finalists and the South Fork Two-A Baseball Conference Champions.

“I am very grateful for all the memories made with my baseball brothers,” he remarked. “It was a lot of fun playing with and against old travel ball teammates who became friends. The county rival games were the absolute best. West Lincoln has some of the most committed fans around. A great senior memory is the 25-mile parade. It was awesome to see such strong community support.

“I want to say thanks to the Good Lord above,” he added, “and it’s great to be from West Lincoln High. I am forever a Rebel! To the class of 2020 all over the county, perhaps we were dealt this hand because we are seen as the creative ones. Carry this thought with you through your next journey: adversities do not define who you are. They only define how tough you are and develop who you grow to become. I wish you all the best. God bless!”

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