One of Cedartown’s stars who helped set the tone in several sports over the past years is on his way to college coming this fall with a scholarship first for the Bulldogs athletics programs.
Elijah Pace is as far as coaches were able to tell the first ever Bulldog to earn a Cross Country scholarship in Cedartown High School history, and he’ll be heading off to Point University to join the freshman class and run for the Skyhawks.
“I blessed to be in my situation. God — I mean, I’ve got to give all credit to him for putting me in a position for being successful,” Pace said. “I thank my family and my close friends for pushing me and making me the person I am today.”
The son of Donnis and Mr. D., Pace invited his family and friends to join with the Bulldogs coaching staff to celebrate his scholarship offer on May 13. He said he plans to pursue studies in Sports Management.
“I’ve done a lot of research about Sports Management, and I feel like that it is most comfortable for me as an athlete myself,” he said.
Pace also played basketball with the Bulldogs as a senior guard during the 2018-19 season, and ran track as well.
Athletic Director Doyle Kelley said that “not only are they (Point University) getting a great athlete, they are getting a great student. You all know they are getting a great person.”
Kelley said he had known Pace since his early days in school at Northside Elementary, when Elijah’s father was in charge of the Boys and Girls Club in Cedartown.
“He was a little bitty thing, and he’d shoot basketball in the gym with us,” Kelley said.
Cross Country coach Richard Shortt said that during a track practice in his eighth grade year, he met Pace and convinced him to come run cross country after seeing his performance. Pace lettered all four years in cross country, and in his freshmen and sophomore year the team made it to the state meet.
“He runs when he’s not in season,” Shortt said to the assembled crowd for his signing day. “For those of you who are athletes, you have to do a little work out of season.”
Shortt added that insights from Point University’s coaching staff on cross country will help future Bulldog athletes in the program improve.
“Eli has been a good team leader, he was team captain this year,” Shortt said. “Here’s the number one thing I’m going to say about him: he leads by example.”
Pace said he would miss the opportunities he’s had during the past four years to work out with his friends and teammates, and the high school experience overall.
“I also look forward to the college experience,” Pace said.