North Carolina High School Athletic Association


CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017-2018 Pat Gainey Student Award, providing scholarship support for two student-athletes with a focus on need-based applicants. This year’s recipients are Hannah Jennings from Madison High School and Lyle Pfingst from West Forsyth High School. Each recipient receives a $2,000 scholarship award and a commemorative plaque when they are presented at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting held each May in Chapel Hill.



The Pat Gainey Student Award is given annually by the NCHSAA through a private donation from Pat Gainey’s daughter, Berry Jo Gainey Shoen. The Gainey Student Athlete Scholarship Award was established to recognize “Athletic Achievement and Strength of Character.” A scholarship is presented annually to a senior female athlete and a senior, Male baseball player attending NCHSAA member high schools located within counties of limited financial resources.

Pat Gainey was a native of Dunn, N.C. and a phenomenal women’s basketball coach in several different coaching stops during his career. His teams compiled an incredible 93-6 record during his time as the women’s basketball coach at Pamlico where he also fielded outstanding baseball teams. He then moved to Taylorsville where he coached from 1955 to 1964. His women’s basketball teams collectively won five Western North Carolina High School Activities Association titles and at one point recorded 54 consecutive wins and 140 straight conference victories. His overall women’s basketball career mark was 358-57.



Hannah Jennings is a senior at Madison High School who carries a 4.65 GPA and is ranked fourth in her class with a three-sport schedule attached. Jennings plays on the school’s volleyball, basketball and softball teams. In addition to standing out in the classroom, Jennings is a star on the field as well. She is a four-time All-Conference selection in volleyball and a three-time All-Conference selection in softball and has been selected for that honor twice in basketball. Twice she was selected as the Conference Player of the Year in Softball, earning District Player of the Year in each of those seasons as well.

Jennings has long stayed active in the community, volunteering with the Heritage Festival, Madison Parks and Recreation Summer Camps, Hurricane Matthew Clean-up and at blood drives and summer camps. Jennings basketball coach, Jeff Loven, described her by saying, “As the head coach, I entrusted her to lead the team-only meetings and take care of ‘the small stuff’ that can split a team. She always delivered. Hannah is mature well beyond her years.” Jennings plans to attend Lenoir -Rhyne University in the fall where she will play softball and study to be a Certified Registered Nurse of Anesthesia.



Lyle Pfingst is a senior at West Forsyth High School where he is an active member of the community and involved with the baseball team. Pfingst carries a 3.67 GPA and is active with the West Forsyth Buddy Walk, the “West Wackos” Spirit Club as well as the Men’s Service Club. He was named All-Conference last year in baseball and was the Conference’s Defensive Player of the year. 

Pfingst’s head baseball coach, Brad Bullard, said, “[Pfingst] truly respects the game of baseball, his coaches and teachers, his teammates, and our competition. He is humble when we win and also respectful to other teams during tough losses. I have coached and taught for eleven years now and can truly say I have not had any players or students like Lyle. He is an amazing student athlete who continually arises to challenges and makes everyone around him a better person.” Pfingst will continue his baseball career and education at Catabwa College where he plans to study Sports Management in the hopes of becoming a professional sports agent.