Community Captain: Andre' Whitmire

The Carolina Panthers have selected Andre' Whitmire, a senior linebacker at Spartanburg High School (Spartanburg, SC), as a 2009 Carolina Panthers Community Captain.

The Carolina Panthers Community Captain program recognizes high school football student-athletes in North and South Carolina who excel in the classroom, in the community and on the field. The program is designed to recognize outstanding young leaders and to encourage their future development as role models while they continue their personal growth in college and in their professional careers.

Whitmire has proven to be a versatile athlete during his Viking career, in which he has excelled in three sports. He has amassed an impressive total of 20 awards and honors in football, basketball and track including Best Linebacker, Spartanburg Touchdown Club Defensive Player of the Week and All-Region in football, Most Valuable Player, Coaches Award and Leading Rebounder in basketball and All-State in track.

Whitmire's football talents have been recognized by several colleges including, Wake Forest University, Duke University, Stanford University, Western Carolina University and Marshall University. With a 3.42 unweighted GPA, Whitmire understands the importance of his education. "Not only is Andre' a kid with extremely high character but he does it the right way and is a true student-athlete," said Spartanburg head football coach, Freddie Brown.

When Whitmire is not on the field or in the classroom, he occupies his time with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Spartanburg High School's Black History Club. He was selected to attend the Palmetto Boys State, a prestigious one-week program that is held at the University of South Carolina that provides young men with the opportunity to learn about the governmental system and the politics behind it.

As a well-rounded individual who has engaged in activities ranging from sports to politics, he has not forgotten about his community. Whitmire has served his community through the 7 Reads Program, which promotes summer reading at junior high schools. Whitmire also volunteers his time during the Christmas holidays in downtown Spartanburg serving meals at Mission I. While most teenagers consider sleeping in on Saturday mornings a golden opportunity, Whitmire volunteers his Saturday mornings and afternoons at a local soup kitchen feeding those in need. "I really enjoy giving back. There is no way I would be the person I've become had it not been for my mother, my sister and the many generous people in my life. Early in life I did not appreciate nor understand all that was afforded to me, but I now see, and I want to be responsible enough to give back," said Whitmire.

Whitmire is still undecided as to which institution he will attend in the fall of 2010, but he will major in mathematics with the hopes of one day becoming an engineer.

The Community Captain Class of 2009 recipients so far this season are Thomas Teal of Marlboro High School (Marlboro, SC), Dylan Bowman of West Brunswick High School (Shallotte, NC), Jonathan Bowie of Hendersonville High School (Hendersonville, NC), Darius Lipford of Hibriten High School (Lenoir, NC), Colin Summers of Needham Broughton High School (Raleigh, NC), Michael Harpe of Spartanburg High School (Spartanburg, SC), Joshua Jenkins of Enloe High School (Raleigh, NC), Samuel Keenan of Lancaster High School (Lancaster, SC), Benjamin Mallouky of Independence High School (Charlotte, NC) and Andre' Whitmire of Spartanburg High School (Spartanburg, SC).

The 2009 Carolina Panthers Community Captain Class will be recognized during a special on-field ceremony at the Panthers home game versus the New Orleans Saints on January 3rd. Winners will receive an authentic Community Captain jersey and will have the opportunity to participate in select Panthers community outreach events with current Panthers players.

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