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CHAPEL HILL - The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced today the winners of two special awards established in the name of the late Pat Gainey.
Salisbury High School head tennis coach Chris Myers and South Lenoir High School student Troy "Ty" Eason III have been named the 2009 winners of the Gainey Awards. They will be honored at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting at the Smith Center on the University of North Carolina campus on Thursday, May 6.
The awards are in memory of Gainey, a native of Dunn who recorded a outstanding record in women's basketball at a couple of different stops during his coaching career and was a great supporter of women's athletics. His overall record at Pamlico was an incredible 93-6 in women's basketball and he also coached outstanding baseball teams there. He then moved to Taylorsville, where he coached from 1955-64. His women's basketball teams won five Western North Carolina High School Activities Association titles and at one point recorded 54 consecutive wins and an amazing 140 straight conference victories. His overall women's basketball mark was 358-57. He was inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame in 2007.
The Pat Gainey Coach Award recognizes excellence in character, achievement and coaching. It is awarded to a varsity coach at an NCHSAA school who provides great leadership, shows interest in his or her athletes on and off the field or court, is recognized as scrupulously honest, and has strongly supported an anti-drug and alcohol policy. All NCHSAA member schools may nominate individuals for the coach's award.
Myers, who has been at Salisbury 11 years, coaches both the men 's and women 's teams at Salisbury in addition to his United States history teaching assignments, including Honors and Advanced Placement. His women 's teams have won three NCHSAA dual team state championships and nine conference titles, with an incredible record of 229-17. On the men 's side, his teams have earned four league crowns and have compiled a 149-54 slate. He often carries 16 to 18 players on the roster to give as many as possible a chance to participate and his teams have been recognized for their outstanding sportsmanship.
The Gainey Student Scholarship Award is available to NCHSAA member schools in counties having a poverty rate of 20 percent or more for children 17 and under. Student scholarship recipients alternate annually between a female athlete and a male baseball player meeting the established criteria.
Eason is a two-sport standout at South Lenoir, participating in wrestling and baseball and earning all-East Central Conference honors in baseball in 2009. An honor student, he has maintained the highest grade point average among any male athletes at his school for the past three years.
He has been involved with his school's Student Council and has participated in the Rotary Against Drugs speech contest for the past three years. He also volunteers to assist with the Junior Cotillion in Kinston, which offers fifth through seventh graders an opportunity to learn proper etiquette and manners.
Eason plans to attend East Carolina University in the fall.
The awards are made possible by Mrs. Berry Jo Gainey Shoen, the daughter of Coach Gainey, who currently resides in Port Townsend, Washington.
''These awards are a wonderful tribute to the legacy of Pat Gainey and all that he did for high school athletics throughout his career,'' said NCHSAA executive director Davis Whitfield. ''This year's recipients are outstanding representatives of the attributes that helped make Pat a great educator and coach.''