NCHSAA Athletes Of The Year Named


CHAPEL HILL — Kareem Martin of Roanoke Rapids High School and Leah Mackley of Pender High School have been named winners of the 2010 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 Dean E, Smith Center on the University of North Carolina campus during the NCHSAA’s Annual Meeting on Thursday.

Both of the winners were 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.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors and the entire membership of the NCHSAA, we congratulate these outstanding student-athletes on their tremendous achievements during their high school careers,” said Davis Whitfield, executive director of the NCHSAA. “Both have extremely impressive credentials which are in the same vein as previous winners of this award, and we certainly wish them well in their future pursuits.”

Martin is a tremendous three-sport athlete, earning all-conference honors in football, basketball and track.

In football, he was a star who was the 2009 Northern Carolina Conference Defensive Player of the Year and the Lineman of the Year. During the 2009 campaign he had 121 tackles, including 21 for loss, forced eight fumbles, had five sacks and intercepted a pass, while on offense he caught 14 passes for 248 yards and four scores, leading Roanoke Rapids to its deepest run ever in the football playoffs. He was named to several all-star teams, starting for the North Carolina team in the Shrine Bowl as well as being selected for the All-American Bowl in Dallas, Texas.

He was also the Northern Carolina Conference Basketball Player of the Year, with averages of 15 points, 11 rebounds, nine blocked shots and three assists per game.

He is currently competing in track and field and earned the conference championship in both the high jump and the high hurdles, two events in which he has also set a Roanoke Rapids school record. A stellar student who has maintained a 4.0 grade point average and will graduate in the top five percent of his senior class, he will attend the University of North Carolina next year on a football scholarship.

Mackley has had a remarkable high school career, playing five sports in both her junior and senior years: volleyball, basketball, soccer, indoor and outdoor track. In the course of her career she has participated in state championship events on seven different occasions and has participated on six different conference championship teams. She was a member of the state 1-A softball championship team as a freshman, has qualified for the state track meet twice and helped lead her team to the state volleyball finals three times, including winning the title this year.

She is holds her school record for assists in volleyball and for goals in soccer, which includes her earning all-conference honors in soccer last year as a first-time player. In track she runs the 200 and also completes in the 400 and 800 relays for the Lady Patriots. Despite her busy athletic schedule, she also finds time to earn a 3.1 grade point average and is a member of the Pender Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She will continue her athletic and academic career at Pitt Community College next fall.

This is the 25th year in which awards have been given to the top overall male and female athletes. Previous winners of the award include:


Winners of the Pat Best Memorial Trophy

Female Male

1985-86 Pam Doggett, Dudley; Patrick Lennon, Whiteville

1986-87 Andrea Stinson, North Mecklenburg; Robert Siler, Jordan-Matthews

1987-88 LeAnn Kennedy, Trinity; Chester McGlockton, Whiteville

1988-89 Danyel Parker, Clinton; Ethan Albright, Grimsley

1989-90 Karen Davis, Forbush; David Inman, Terry Sanford

1990-91 Christy Cagle, Hayesville ; Mike Kendall, Albemarle

1991-92 Wendy Palmer, Person ; Rusty LaRue, Northwest Guilford

1992-93 Holly Hill, Southwestern Randolph; Tyrone Westmoreland, South Iredell

1993-94 Jamie Parsons, Millbrook; Brian Roseboro, T.Wingate Andrews

1994-95 Aedrin Murray, Chatham Central; Na Brown, Reidsville

1995-96 Shea Ralph, Terry Sanford; Titcus Pettigrew, West Forsyth

1996-97 Jackie Houston, Kings Mountain; Tyrell Godwin, East Bladen

1997-98 Clifeteana McKiver, East Duplin: Julius Peppers, Southern Nash

1998-99 Anna Tharrington, Southern Nash; Nick Maddox, A.L. Brown

1999-2000 Courtney Willis, Terry Sanford; Manny DeShauteurs, Brevard

2000-01 Molly Pyles, Hendersonville; Derrele Mitchell, R.J. Reynolds

2001-02 Katrelle Armwood, Durham School of Arts; A.J. Davis, Northern Durham

2002-03 Anna Evans, Lumberton; Drew Williamson, Cummings

2003-04 Eva Baucom, Forest Hills ; Jim Ollis, Polk County

2004-05 Jessie Sims, West Henderson; Terrell Hudgins, Rocky Mount

2005-06 Megan Zullo, Farmville Central; Kendric Burney, Southwest Onslow

2006-07 Gabby Mayo, Southeast Raleigh; Dee Bost, Concord

2007-08 Jannetta Robinson, Pender; E.J. Abrams-Ward, Thomasville

2008-09 Ali Ford, Freedom; Tyler Shatley, East Burke

2009-10 Leah Mackley, Pender; Kareem Martin, Roanoke Rapids

About 150,000 athletes compete in the NCHSAA’s 23-sport program.