The United States Sports Academy was recognized for its rich history of partnership with the Mobile County Training School (MCTS) at the Legacy Luncheon at the Robert Hope Community Center in Plateau, Ala.
Academy President Dr. T.J. Rosandich and Chair of Sports Management Dr. Brandon Spradley accepted Isaiah J. Whitley MCTS Legacy of Excellence awards from MCTS Alumni Association President Anderson Flen. The award is named in recognition of the former MCTS principal Isaiah J. Whitley, whose efforts led to the school’s ability to secure monetary aid from the state of Alabama. Whitley served as the principal there from 1910 until his death in 1923.
The Academy has a history of partnership and engagement with MCTS. Former MCTS Alumni Association president the late William Clark served on the Academy’s Board of Trustees between 2012 and 2015. Clark served 26 years in the Alabama House of Representatives and is a member of the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a basketball coach.
The Academy also partnered with the MCTS Alumni Association to record and archive oral history interviews with former MCTS athletes and coaches from the period of American racial segregation.
“This award is particularly meaningful to the Academy because of it’s local roots,” said Rosandich. “We all found the oral histories to be fascinating as they are a tribute to the persistence of the MCTS student-athletes in their pursuit of sporting excellence and the resiliency of the human spirit in overcoming adversity”.
The video project, led by Spradley, also recorded documents and other artifacts of historical significance to MCTS and its sports community history. The video project can be found on the Academy’s online library website and on Alabama Mosaic, a repository of digital materials on the state of Alabama’s history, culture, places, and people.
Spradley is a Mobile native and the son of MCTS 1967 graduate Theodore Spradley III.
“It was certainly an honor and privilege to receive the Isaiah J. Whitley Legacy of Excellence Award,” Spradley said. “My father, Theodore Spradley III, graduated from Mobile County Training School in 1967, so this award means a lot to me. The event was truly first-class and I thoroughly enjoyed representing the Academy, along with Dr. T.J. Rosandich.”