North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Coach Gaye Davis of West Bladen Wins North Carolina Spirit of Sport Award

                  CHAPEL HILL— Gaye Davis of West Bladen High School is the fourth annual recipient of the North Carolina Spirit of Sport Award presented by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

                  The NCHSAA is participating in the  “Spirit of Sport Award” program sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations.  It was established to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive spirit of sport that represents the core mission of education-based athletics. 

           The award is given in recognition of a specific act or an activity of longer duration.  Nominees can be a coach, athletic administrator, trainer, student-athlete or any others associated with the school’s athletic program.   

           Davis will be recognized at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting on May 1 at the Smith Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina. She has been a coach at West Bladen for the past eight years, having coached women’s soccer, women’s basketball and volleyball.

          A little more than two years ago, Davis stepped into the role as head volleyball coach, although she indicated she knew little about the sport. She used her own time to learn about it, including attending area club matches and college matches, and her efforts have paid off with a pair of conference championships.

         In addition, she has urged her players to be their best both on and off the courts. During previous seasons, she has been involved with her athletes to host “Pink Nights” for games that support breast cancer research. This year, however, Davis and her West Bladen shifted their philanthropy to help one close to home.

         The team, led by its coach, raised over $3,000 for the Ronald McDonald House in Chapel Hill, which was the home for Robby and Dana Mills for several weeks in early 2013.  Mrs. Mills, an agricultural teacher at West Bladen, and her husband had a son named Jude who was born and diagnosed with a chromosomal disorder and received treatment in Chapel Hill before his death on August 23, 2013.

        The Ronald McDonald House provides a place for family members to stay while their children are undergoing treatment for serious health issues.

        Coach Davis spent many hours to ensure that “Red Night” for this cause was a success at her school.

        Davis Whitfield, NCHSAA commissioner, said, "The actions of Coach Davis speak volumes to the kind of person she is and the values that we believe are embodied by the spirit of sport. This is a great choice for the award.”