NCHSAA Athletes of the Year Named at Annual Meeting (2003-04)

WINSTON-SALEM — Eva Baucom of Forest Hills High School and Jim Ollis of Polk County High School have been named winners of the 2004 Athlete of the Year awards by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA).

These are the top athletic awards given by the NCHSAA to honor the most outstanding male and female high school athletes in the state. They were presented at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum during the NCHSAA's Annual Meeting.

Both Baucom and Ollis were nominated and selected by a special panel of media representatives from across the state. They were each presented with the Pat Best Memorial Trophy, named for the former Goldsboro High principal and president of the NCHSAA who died unexpectedly in 1988.

"We congratulate these fine student-athletes on their great achievements during their high school careers," said Charlie Adams, executive director of the NCHSAA. "Both Eva and Jim have tremendously impressive credentials along the lines of the previous outstanding winners of this award, and they are also excellent students. We certainly wish them the best in the future."

Ollis has had a brilliant career in three sports and has received a prestigious appointment to the Air Force Academy, where he will lay quarterback for the Falcons. He was named the Southern Foothills Conference Football Player of the Year for 2003 and was the only player to make the all-conference team at three positions-quarterback, defensive back and punter.

He ran for 1,118 yards and 14 touchdowns and threw 10 TD passes as he led Polk to an 11-win season and earned a berth on the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team. He had 73 tackles on defense and had a whopping 44.0-yard average as a punter.

In wrestling, Ollis won the 1-A/2-A state championship at 189 pounds, his third state consecutive state title in that sport. He was 29-0 this season and had a brilliant 119-3 career mark. Only his freshman year ended without a state championship, when he broke his wrist.

He also is a standout on the Polk baseball team, with a batting average of .438 and a slugging percentage at a whopping .738. He has six doubles, two triples and five home runs to go with 23 runs batted in. An outstanding center fielder, he also has 13 stolen bases in 14 tries.

Baucom has been busy at Forest Hills, where she has excelled in tennis, basketball, soccer and softball.
She played number one singles and doubles for her team and qualified for regional competition, earning all-conference honors in that sport. In basketball she was an outstanding point guard, earning all-county honors.

She leads her soccer team in scoring, doing a difficult balancing act between soccer and softball. As the catcher in softball, Baucom has caught over 90 consecutive games and is a already a three-time all-conference selection. She is batting better than .500 and tops her team in average and runs batted in and is also second in stolen bases.

At one point this season, she raced home from a softball game where she had gone three for four and had the game-winning RBI. She got to the soccer game with seven minutes left to play and then scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 contest.

Contact: Rick Strunk (919-962-7786)