CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021-2022 Pat Gainey Student Award, providing scholarship support for two student-athletes with a focus on need-based applicants. This year’s recipients are Carson Taylor from Swain County High School and Madison Austin from South Caldwell High School. Each recipient receives a $5,000 scholarship award and a commemorative plaque.
Carson Taylor | Swain County High School
Carson Taylor is a senior at Swain County High School where he played football for four years, as well as baseball, basketball, and wrestling. He has been recognized by several organizations both preseason and postseason for his athletic ability. As a junior, he was a winner of the Heisman High School Scholarship. His service projects include Smoky Service Days, Desire to Lead Initiative, Cherokee Children’s Home Golf Tournament, and the Cherokee Children’s Home Christmas Gift Drive. He plans to pursue a career in sports management at East Tennessee State University, Western Carolina University, or University of North Carolina-Greensboro. A thought from Carson – “To lead, you first have to serve.”
Madison Austin | South Caldwell High School
Madison Austin is a senior at South Caldwell High School where she played soccer for four years, ran cross country for two years, and participated one year in the golf program. She was named to the A or A/B Honor Roll in three of her four high school years. Madison has been recognized for academic excellence in her freshman, sophomore, and junior year; and at graduation will be an Honors Graduate and receive the North Carolina Scholar Award. She has been a member of the Beta Club for four years and participated in several community projects throughout her high school career. Madison will attend one of the five colleges to which she has been accepted to pursue a career in physical therapy. A thought from Madison – “I have created so many memories and lifelong values that I otherwise would never have, without participating in sports. My teammates taught me the importance of understanding how to work together.”
About the Pat Gainey Student Award
The Pat Gainey Student Award is given annually by the NCHSAA through a private donation from Pat Gainey’s daughter, Berry Jo Gainey Shoen. The Gainey Student-Athlete Scholarship Award was established to recognize “Athletic Achievement and Strength of Character.” A scholarship is presented annually to a senior female athlete and a senior, Male baseball player attending NCHSAA member high schools located within counties of limited financial resources.
Pat Gainey was a native of Dunn, N.C. and a phenomenal women’s basketball coach in several different coaching stops during his career. His teams compiled an incredible 93-6 record during his time as the women’s basketball coach at Pamlico where he also fielded outstanding baseball teams. He then moved to Taylorsville where he coached from 1955 to 1964. His women’s basketball teams collectively won five Western North Carolina High School Activities Association titles and at one point recorded 54 consecutive wins and 140 straight conference victories. His overall women’s basketball career mark was 358-57.
Under Gainey’s tutelage, the Pamlico baseball teams captured 4 Seashore Conference Championships and compiled an overall record of 67-7 including 24 straight conference wins. Pat Gainey always had a great knowledge of baseball and spent the summer months scouting professional baseball prospects. Pat scouted a combined 18 years for the New York Giants and Chicago White Sox.