NCHSAA ANNOUNCES JERRY MCGEE ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS
CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced that two winners have been chosen for the organization’s annual Jerry McGee Endowed Scholarship. The award is unique because it honors both male and female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves by overcoming adversity and returned to excel beyond expectations in their scholastic athletic sport.
This year the winners are a soccer and cross country athlete from Lakewood High School, Junius Faircloth, and Ledford High School’s Emily Boger, a cross country and track team member. The Jerry McGee Endowed Scholarship will be presented during the NCADA Breakfast to be held July 2016 in Greensboro, NC. Each recipient will receive a $1,000 scholarship award and a commemorative plaque.
Junius Faircloth has been an all-conference performer in cross country as well as soccer during his four years at Lakewood High School. His exploits on the field match his academic performance as he has been in the top twenty of his graduating class for his entire career. In addition to his classroom work, Faircloth has had an active role in his community helping to organize a toy and book drive for the NC Children’s Society this past year in addition to time volunteering at an animal shelter.
Faircloth has battled through adversity related to an infectious, non-cancerous tumor in his ear, discovered while he was in the sixth grade. The tumor had eaten everything in his right ear, even beginning to eat through the mastoid bone, causing deafness. A whole new inner ear from six surgeries over three years later, he was finally able to compete in sports again, taking up soccer and track and becoming an all-conference performer in each sport.
Faircloth said, “Each year I have gotten better and better because I worked hard. I used the setbacks I had from the infection as fuel to make me get stronger and better.” He plans to attend Brevard University in the fall.
Emily Boger, a cross country and track performer at Ledford High School, has been all-county and all-conference in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons in both sports. During her time at Ledford, she’s been a member of the Beta Club, serving as the club’s secretary her senior year while tutoring a fellow student. Her junior year she spent time volunteering as a three-year-old Sunday School teacher at her church and has also volunteered at the Miracle Field, helping disabled children play baseball.
During November of her junior year, Boger’s doctors discovered a malignant tumor in her spinal cord. After the necessary and successful surgery to remove the tumor in December, Boger was out of running for four months during recovery. She began the long and arduous process of recovery by regaining strength training on a bike or in the pool.
Boger described her difficulty in recovery saying, “At the time, running was all I knew, so the recovery process was difficult. This is where my friends, teammates and coaches stepped in.” She continued, “My friends and teammates visited me after I had surgery to offer words of encouragement and to keep me informed on what was happening at school and practice. They kept me updated on the team’s performance and the results of recent meets. This made me feel like I was a part of the team even though I couldn’t physically be there.”
Now recovered and back as a part of the cross country and track teams this year, Boger plans to attend High Point University in the fall.
The Jerry McGee Endowed Scholarship was created in honor of Jerry McGee for his more than 24 years of service as Executive Director of the North Carolina Athletic Directors’ Association (NCADA). Because of Jerry’s passion for making dreams a reality, the NCADA Board of Directors felt that offering a scholarship to two senior-year high school student-athletes from NCHSAA member schools each year would be a fitting way to honor his legacy.