NCHSAA recognizes two student-athletes with prestigious 2017 Wilburn Clary Medal

CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 William Clary Medal scholarship. This year’s recipients are David Ryan Perry from Swansboro and Savanna Hagler from Kannapolis. Winners of the Clary Medal are awarded a one-time $2,000 scholarship and a commemorative plaque at the NCHSAA’s Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting will be held Thursday, May 4, 2017 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

Hagler, a senior at A.L. Brown, was a part of the Basketball, Volleyball, Swimming and Softball programs during her four-year career. She was named to the all-conference her junior year. After being diagnosed with a heart condition at age seven that caused her heart to race, she underwent corrective surgery in 2011. Because of her condition and the care she received, she hopes to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and study biomedical engineering to help others in the ways she has been helped and improve quality of life for patients.

She helps other students as an AP Academy Mentor while performing her duties as the school’s yearbook editor. She is an active participant in her church youth group and has been involved in many community service projects and mission trips, including a recent trip to Haiti. While in Haiti, Hagler worked with children in an orphanage and served as a pharmacy technician in a mobile medical clinic. While in high school she has worked three different jobs, from concessions at various festivals and events, to catering and as a cashier at a local Chick-Fil-A.

Perry, a senior at Croatan High School, has been a part of the Wrestling and Football programs during his four-year high school career. During the winter, he finished third in the state in wrestling, winning a regional championship in his weight class. He has been active at the school as a Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader as well as Operation Christmas Child Volunteer. During his junior and senior years, he has served as a coach and mentor for younger students with the Carteret County Grapplers Youth Wrestling Club. He’s also participated in other areas of community service like Take a Kid Fishing and Project Unify.

His family is very important to him, and became very close during his mother’s battle with and survival of breast cancer in 2012. Perry’s guidance counselor, Kate Short, said, “He grew and matured a great deal from his family’s experience. I believe Ryan’s personality is an asset in his career goal of becoming a Physician’s Assistant. He is warm, friendly and spiritual. His personal experience allows him to truly connect with others.” Perry plans to attend NC State University and study Biology.

The Clary Medal is made possible through the generosity of the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation and annually recognizes an outstanding male and female varsity student athlete participating in varsity competition in at least two NCHSAA-sanctioned teams. The award is based on the individual’s excellence in athletic participation, extra-curricular activities and community service. Each recipient of this medal exhibits a desire to excel in all areas of life – athletics, education, sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership, honesty and integrity.

Wilburn Clary’s athletic career involved coaching, officiating and administration. He coached several sports at the Methodist Children’s Home for almost 30 years, was an outstanding official on the high school and collegiate level, and served as the executive secretary of the Western North Carolina High School Activities Association from 1949-1977 until it merged with the NCHSAA. Mr. Clary was the first collegiate football official to be inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.