North Carolina High School Athletic Association

2022-23 Wilburn Clary Medal Winners

2022-2023 Wilburn Clary Medal


The Clary Medal, made possible through the generosity of the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation, recognizes outstanding high school student-athletes annually in memory of Wilburn C. Clary.

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 North Carolina High School Athletic Association. Mr. Clary was the first collegiate football official to be inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.


This year the NCHSAA is proud to award Katelyn Burrows and Cooper King as the Wilburn Clary Medal Scholarship recipients! 


Katelyn Burrows is a remarkable senior at Lejeune High School in Onslow County. As an accomplished athlete, Katelyn has qualified for the state championships in cross country and track and field every year and has also earned multiple sportsmanship awards for both teams. Katelyn is a natural leader, serving as a team captain for both cross country and track and field last year and currently. She is an active member of her school’s Student Government Association, currently serving as Senior Class Secretary, and the National Honor Society. Katelyn has received numerous Outstanding Citizenship Awards throughout her high school career and has a passion for helping others. Additionally, Katelyn volunteers regularly with her church and school, as a newspaper editor, Sunday School Education Assistant, and member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In her free time, Katelyn enjoys baking, reading, and art, as well as spending quality time with loved ones. Katelyn is CPR certified and pursuing a CNA License and plans to attend Penn State in the fall to study Biology with the ultimate goal of becoming a Physician’s Assistant. As Katelyn puts it: “I am so excited to begin my undergraduate studies this fall as I embark on my journey toward becoming a Physician’s Assistant and ultimately serving at a military hospital.”



Cooper King is a senior at Hendersonville High School in Henderson County. As a member of both the varsity soccer and football teams, Cooper’s talent is undeniable, consistently ranking among the top kickers in the state for football and standing out as one of the best soccer attackers in his classification. Cooper has also participated on the golf team, lettering in all three sports. Off the field, Cooper’s achievements are equally impressive, maintaining an unweighted 3.95 GPA and earning membership in the National Honor Society. He also takes on leadership roles in various clubs such as HOSA, Key Club, Spanish Club, and more. Fluent in Spanish, he has traveled the world, visiting China, Japan, Canada, and many countries in South America. Cooper’s interests span far beyond sports and travel as he enjoys music, theater, finance, entrepreneurship, and many outdoor activities like snowboarding and skiing. He volunteers at the St Gerard House, mentoring and working with children with autism, and works with Movement for Life Physical Therapy, a leading rehabilitation organization, while actively pursuing a CNA License. He shared: “Innately curious about business, economics and entrepreneurship, I seek to broaden my knowledge in these areas in college and ultimately start a business where I can merge my passion and make a difference in the world.” Cooper plans to study Entrepreneurship and has already been accepted to highly esteemed universities like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Colorado Boulder.