NCHSAA Names First-ever Clary Medal Winners

CHAPEL HILL – Nicole Harris of North Wilkes High School and Bradley Hardee of South Caldwell High School have been named the recipients of the first-ever 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 4 at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh.

The Clary Medal is made possible through the generosity of the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation through the NCHSAA Endowment. It will annually recognize 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.

Hardee is a straight-A student who is ranked in the top ten of his class. He has participated in football, basketball, baseball and wrestling during his varsity career. A two-time football captain, he has earned 10 varsity letters and earned all-Northwestern Conference honors three times in football and twice so far in baseball.

In addition to his athletic and academic achievements, he has traveled with members of his church on foreign mission trips and has worked with Habitat for Humanity and South Caldwell Christian Ministries. He is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has served as president of his school’s student council.

Harris has been a three-sport athlete at North Wilkes, running cross-country as well as playing basketball and softball. She has previously achieved all-Wilkes County recognition in softball.

An honor roll student, Nicole is also a member of the Latin Club, Future Farmers of America and a leader on the PATH (Peer Athlete Team Helpers) team, which mentors younger student-athletes, in addition to holding down a couple of part-time jobs.

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