Connor McDavid is making the most of his ninth and final year at Hillcrest. His love of history has made him a valuable member of the Quiz Bowl team, and his size and determination are assets on both the offensive and defensive lines of the Cougar football team. He is a member of the golf team as well. Outside of school, Connor enjoys hunting, fishing, and riding.
Connor’s advice to lower classmen at HCS is to “live for today because you are not promised tomorrow.” Connor himself takes this advice to heart, and he believes his greatest strength lies in his drive not to let anything stop him or slow him down. This is most evident in the struggles he has overcome with his health since the age of 10. Since that time, he has undergone numerous surgeries and has re-learned how to walk four times. And as if that weren’t enough to convince many people to give up, Connor was diagnosed with occular melanoma, a rare form of skin cancer of the eye, when he was 13 years of age. He recalls, “Everyone told me I could quit football, and it would be okay because I had a reason to quit, but I continued to play because I wanted to prove that I wasn’t going to let anything ever stop me.”
McDavid has been impacted in more ways than one by the sports in which he has participated at Hillcrest; he credits his coaches not only with making him a better athlete, but also with bringing him closer to the Lord. Perhaps this has led to his decision to attend Mississippi College after graduation in order to pursue a career in teaching and coaching football. No doubt, his story of perseverance in the face of seemingly overwhelming obstacles will be an inspiring one to the next generation of gridiron athletes.
Josh Horner, a class favorite and Prom King of Hillcrest’s Class of 2000, was a highly awarded football player during his high school years. In his senior year, he shared the bench-press record and was co-named MVP for football, and he earned the MPSA (now MAIS) All-Star linebacker, All-Conference and All-District linebacker and offensive line, and best defensive back and offensive lineman awards. These led to his receiving a football scholarship to Belhaven College where he played as a linebacker. Horner then finished his bachelor’s degree in coaching at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004.
Josh worked as a firefighter and EMT for five years, most of that at the Clinton Fire Department, during which time he laughingly states that his most heroic acts were saving “a couple of dogs and an attempt to save a cat” from house fires. He then briefly worked at the Flowood Fire Department before returning to Hillcrest in order to teach and coach in 2010.
Horner’s career path changed drastically in 2012 when he surrendered to the Gospel ministry. That decision, along with his love of reading, learning, preaching and teaching God’s word, and helping others led him right back to Hillcrest, where he serves as high-school Bible teacher. Josh also is Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Byram and is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree in pastoral leadership at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Josh and his wife Jessica have been married for ten years and have two children, Brock, who is 7-years-old, and Rhett, who is 2. The Hillcrest family is blessed to have not just this Cougar alumnus, but his entire family, as daily fixtures on campus.
Last Wednesday in Upper School Chapel, Coach Estabrook shared a message of encouragement from Psalm 33:1 – 3, which states, “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him…. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” He reminded us that joy is a choice; no matter how we feel at any given time, the people of God can, and should, choose to be joyful. He further pointed out that the command to “play skillfully” reminds us to give God our very best in everything we undertake. Then, Coach Estabrook read Psalm 34:3, “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together,” which shows the need for corporate praise and points out that when Christians work together, we are more powerful than we know.
This message served (and serves) as an encouraging reminder that in everything that we — the administration, faculty, staff, students, and family — at Hillcrest do, if we choose joy, make every effort our best, and work together, we will easily accomplish our school’s mission statement:
Hillcrest Christian School is dedicated to reaching students for Christ, emphasizing academic excellence, and incorporating Christ-like values in all extracurricular activities. We endeavor to operate Hillcrest Christian School on the following Biblical principles found in Colossians 1:9-12:
Operate in a manner worthy of the Lord (v. 10)
Seek to please the Lord in every aspect of the school (v. 10)
Expect growth in character and knowledge (v.10)
Rely upon the Lord (v. 11)
Cultivate an atmosphere of joyful thanksgiving (v. 12)
Dual enrollment is a rapidly expanding program which allows high school students to earn credit toward a degree at a Mississippi public university; many private colleges accept dual credit as well. Even better, these courses simultaneously count as credit toward a high school diploma. Currently, Hillcrest offers English Composition I, English Composition II, and College Algebra through a partnership with Hinds Community College. Seven students are earning 3 credit hours this semester in College Algebra with Mr. Ryan, and fourteen will receive 3 more credits in English Composition I with Mrs. Massey. It is possible that seniors may have 9 college credits by the time they graduate from Hillcrest, almost enough to be counted as full-time for one semester!
Anyone who has been to college will likely agree that the most difficult part is learning to be responsible for yourself, and those considering taking dual enrollment courses must be aware that personal responsibility and time management are critical skills for success. Furthermore, because these are college classes, the work assigned is often more challenging than in typical high-school classes. However, because dual-enrollment students are familiar with their instructors (who are given the title of adjunct professors at Hinds) and with the environment, these early college students are able to transition into the college frame-of-mind more easily than if their first experience was on a campus with thousands of others.
Any current juniors who are considering taking one or more of these courses during their senior year should consult the Dual Enrollment page here on the website, under Academics, or talk to Mr. Ritter for more information.
The due date for returning Homecoming t-shirt order forms has changed.
The form and payment is due Monday, September 19th.
We had to move the date up so the printer can have plenty of time for printing.
Thanks for your help!