WARNER ROBINS -- Braden Anderson didnt suspect a thing.
With the help of his soccer coach and teammates at Houston County High School, the senior walked into the cafeteria thinking he was just going to another meeting.
Even when his mother, Kem Anderson, told him to change into something other than sweatpants to go to school March 25, Braden still wasnt suspicious.
After following his teammates into a room filled with his parents, siblings and members of Erskine College, he finally realized what happened.
I won, he said as he threw his arms up in the air in triumph and then headed into bear hug from his mother and father.
What Braden, 17, won was a presidential full-ride scholarship to Erskine, worth more than $165,000. The check he received Monday was for $41,385.
His father, Greg Anderson, said he and his wife got the phone call March 22 from Director of Institutional Admissions Tobe Frierson.
I was literally shaking, he said after hearing his son had been chosen.
Frierson was not part of the selection committee for the scholarship but said Braden was everything the college wanted for its most prestigious scholarship.
He had a broad range of activities in Houston County, his church and could express his ideals and principles, she said.
The initial application process consisted of essays and a résumé.
The semifinals were in January, and the 28 finalists were interviewed earlier in March.
Braden has aspirations to become a doctor, and the school has a good reputation for students who go on to be accepted into medical programs.
Were the place that can help him get there, said Frierson.
About 300 students had applied for the scholarship and two were selected to receive it.
The family has visited several campuses, but Braden knew Erskine was where he felt like he belonged.
He admitted he had been stressed about the financial aspect of attending the college, which is in Due West, S.C.
Though this is an academic scholarship, Braden also will be a part of the soccer team during his studies.
I am quite relieved, he said. I did it.