The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced the recipients of the 2015-2016 Pat Gainey Student Award, providing scholarship support for two student-athletes.
This year’s recipients are Steven Owens of South Stokes High School and Lauren Scism from Crest High School. Each recipient will receive a $2,000 scholarship award and a commemorative plaque when they are presented at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting held each May in Chapel Hill.
Steven “Alex” Owens is a soccer and baseball player at South Stokes High School in Stokes County. He and his teammates are credited with a change in reputation for the schools soccer program. During the 2015 season the team did not have a player ejected for the entire season, which was the first time that happened in over five years. His teammates and coaches said this new reputation the team built over the course of the season “could not have been achieved without the determination of the team and excellent leadership of captains like Alex.”
His head baseball coach Shane Worth said, “As far as sportsmanship is concerned you could not ask for a more respectful young man. In my 18 years of coaching it has been my experience that players like this young man do not come along often.”
Owens is undecided where he will attend college in the fall but he hopes to major in mathematics to give him a wide variety of options for a future career path and further educational possibilities.
Scism is a women’s tennis star at Crest High School in Cleveland County. She plans to attend Western Carolina University where she hopes to study nursing and become a Labor and Delivery Nurse.
The Pat Gainey Student Award is given annually by the NCHSAA through a private donation from Pat Gainey’s daughter, Berry Jo 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.