Fourth Annual Clary Medal Winners Named



CHAPEL HILL – Morgan Turner of Lincolnton High School and Michael Bass of Fairmont High School have been named the recipients of the fourth annual Clary Medals awarded by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

The two outstanding student-athletes will be recognized at the NCHSAA’s Annual Meeting on May 7 at the Dean E. Smith Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Clary Medal is made possible through the generosity of the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation through the NCHSAA Endowment. It annually recognizes an outstanding male and female student-athlete, who will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to further his or her education at the college level.

To be eligible for the award, a student must be a senior at an NCHSAA member school, participate on at least two athletic teams, maintain at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale, and demonstrate excellence in athletic participation, extra-curricular activities and community service.

Turner participated in cross country and track for four years each while playing soccer and basketball for two seasons apiece. She was a four-time conference champion and conference Runner of the Year in cross country and finished sixth or better in the state championship meet all four years. In outdoor track, she is a two-time state champion in the 3200 and set school, county and conference records in the 800 and 1600 as well as the 3200.

She was elected Lincolnton’s homecoming queen in the fall and is a member of the National Honor Society. She has also worked with Special Olympics and has participated in week-long church mission trips with World Changers every summer since she was in the sixth grade. Turner will be attending Western Carolina University in the fall.

Bass has participated in four years of football, basketball, baseball and track and this year even found time to compete on the bowling team. He earned all-Southeastern Conference honors as a quarterback and defensive back as a junior and senior, was captain of the basketball team as a point guard and was the league Player of the Year in baseball as a shortstop and pitcher in 2008. He is also the defending conference champion in the 800 meters.

Ranked first in the senior class at Fairmont, he was voted the Outstanding Senior by the Fairmont faculty. Bass has also been active in Boy Scouts and mission projects through his church, Fairmont First Baptist. He plans to continue his athletic career playing baseball at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

The award is in memory of Wilburn Columbus Clary, a member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame who was an outstanding coach and game official. He served as the executive secretary of the old Western North Carolina High School Activities Association from 1948 through 1977, when its schools joined the NCHSAA. Clary was also the first collegiate football official to be inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

“Both are exemplary citizens and student-athletes,” said Charlie Adams, executive director of the NCHSAA. “They are outstanding selections for the Clary Medals, which we believe is becoming one of the top awards the NCHSAA can present to a student.”

The inaugural winners of the award were Nicole Harris of North Wilkes and Brad Hardee of South Caldwell in 2006, and the 2007 winners included Lauren White of North Mecklenburg and Colby Meador of Rockingham County. Last year’s winners were Susie Wear of Salisbury and Greg Moye of Pamlico County.