Scholar Athlete: Danville's Dowell Harmon juggles baseball, books and is Male Scholar Athlete of the Year
Danville senior Dowell Harmon made only one B ¿ an online calculus class ¿ during his high school career that included being part of the baseball and academic teams. He graduated No. 1 in his class and has been named The Advocate-Messenger/Danville Office Equipment Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. (Clay Jackson / July 1, 2012)
“He really has done an amazing job of balanced being an athlete and a serious student. Dowell has committed himself completely to baseball, the academic team and being a student,” said his mother. “Both the baseball team and the academic team compete at a high level, and Dowell is an important part of that success. All the while he took 15 Advanced Placement classes and has been ranked number one in his class all through high school.”
Harmon, who scored a 33 on his ACT, had a 5.238 weighted grade-point average. He was one of 18 students in Kentucky to earn National AP Scholar and was a National Merit Commended Scholar as well as a Governor’s Scholar participant.
That’s why Harmon has been named The Advocate-Messenger/Danville Office Equipment Male Scholar Athlete of the year.
He was a three-year starter on Danville’s baseball team and during his career started games at third base, catcher, first base, shortstop and right field. Last season he hit a team-high .569 and drove in 43 runs, second on the team, to help Danville reach the 12th Region title game. He struck out just seven times in 113 at-bats and walked 23 times, was hit by pitch eight times and stole 20 bases.
“He was one of the more versatile players I¿ever had,” Danville coach Paul Morse said.
He was also one of the sharpest academically Morse has ever had.
“When he was a sophomore he was tutoring one of my assistant coaches in his Masters program math class,” Morse said.
“It was not super hard stuff. He was doing it for a teaching class. It was not advanced math, but it was still a lot of fun when he got an A in that class,”¿Harmon said. “I could kind of hold that over him and use it to get out of running.”
Harmon received the Reynolds Scholarship — a full scholarship that also included summer educational travel expenses — to Wake Forest.
“I had liked the school before I¿found that I got a full ride there, but that made the decision pretty easy for me,” Harmon said.
He won’t play baseball because there are not roster spots even for a walk-on player.
“I know I¿will miss baseball with how competitive I am. But I¿will play intramurals and keep up with athletics even if I am not playing at Wake Forest,” Harmon said. “I am playing summer ball this year just because I wanted to keep playing for coach Morse and help our summer team try to win another (American) Legion state championship.”
He was a starter on Danville’s quick recall team since he was in the fourth grade.¿His mother, a former academics team coach, was his “behind the scenes coach” for his academic team.
“She knew what I¿needed to study and helped me study. She liked it a lot, too, because it taught her new things,”¿Harmon said. “She was never my actual academic team coach, but she was my biggest fan and personal trainer of sorts.”
He was vice-president of National Honor Society as a junior and Boyle County-Danville Youth Leadership participant.
Harmon was also active with his community service. He served as a judge for the quick recall tournaments at elementary school and helped the Humane Society put on a special event for dogs and their owners. He’s been a math tutor at an elementary school and worked tutoring kindergarten students in reading at another school. He ha worked at the Danville Youth Baseball Camp and been an assistant coach for his sister’s recreation league baseball team.
Greg Caudill’s son, Rob, was Harmon’s classmate and teammate.
“I have witnessed Dowell’s drive to succeed firsthand as he and my son have been friends and partners in many educational projects through the years. In these instances, Dowell is a true collaborator,” Greg Caudill said. “He does not want to take all the credit or micromanage, which makes him a popular team member when assignments are given.