Scholarships Provide Education for Athletes


The Mountain Amateur Athletic Club, along with its sponsors, is proud to provide financial aid to deserving student athletes. With the awarding of 16 scholarships in 2018 for a total of $24,000, the MAAC has provided 45 scholarships worth $57,000 over the past five years to students from 21 different WNC high schools.  

To do this requires the donations of our sponsors, and we’re proud to have the John & Darlene Charitable Foundation serve as our presenting sponsor for the 57th WNC Sports Awards Banquet on May 6, 2018.

 For more information on creating a scholarship for a deserving athlete, contact board member Keith Jarrett at or at 712-6324.

 The first Dan Hill Scholarship goes to Franklin High’s Nathan Richards, a state champion in cross country and the two-mile run in indoor track. He is a three-time all-state cross-country runner who also won the Mountain Six Conference and Western Regional titles. He has competed in cross country, indoor and outdoor track for four seasons. Richards will attend Montreat College.

The second Dan Hill Scholarship goes to Izzy Garcia-Perez of Asheville High, a four-time all-conference soccer player. He is a four-time all-region and two-time all-state selection. He was named his conference’s Offensive Player of the Year this season. Garcia-Perez will play soccer at Clemson.

The final Dan Hill Scholarship is awarded to Hendersonville’s Micaiah Darity, a track standout who has been named team MVP five times. She finished 2nd, 4th and 5th in the state in three separate events. Darity is No. 1 in WNC in the long jump and second in the 55-meter dash. She works part-time at a nursing home delivering meals to the elderly.

 The Arby’s Scholarship goes to Zaria Joyner of Carolina Day, an all-conference basketball player selected to the Citizen-Times All-Western team. She is an aspiring singer and lyricist who records her own music. She is a founding member of the Carolina Day School Band who has performed with the Blue Ridge Orchestra. Joyner works every weekend for the Youth Basketball of America Association as a gym supervisor, coach and referee.

The C.P. & Brenda Medore Scholarship goes to Tykel Landrum of Hendersonville.  Tykel is WNC’s all-time receiving leader in three categories. He is also a two-time all-conference basketball player for the Bearcats. Landrum has a 2.8 grade-point average and played in the Shrine Bowl. He will attend Wingate University. 

 The Buncombe County Commissioners Scholarship is awarded to Corey McVay, who competed in four sports with Reynolds – cross country, indoor and outdoor track and swimming. She is in the top 10 of her senior class with a 5.11 grade-point average.She is a four-time all-state band selection as a trombone player. McVay is a two-time all-conference selection in cross country.

 The Charles. D. Owen/Bill Owen Memorial Scholarship goes to Hendersonville’s Tanner Gilliam, a three-time all-conference soccer player and the team captain the past two years.  He will play this summer with the Asheville City Soccer team and will attend UNC Asheville. He recently went on a mission trip to Nicaragua to help install stoves and water filtration systems. In the summer he mows lawns and picks blackberries to sell door to door.

Pisgah’s Elizabeth Liner is the recipient of the Ingles Scholarship. She is a four-year member of the cheerleading squad, including three years on the varsity. She was captain of the cheerleading team her senior year and was selected to the NCCCA All-Region Team. Liner is a community volunteer with a 4.3 grade-point average. She will attend Western Carolina.

The Mountain Amateur Athletic Club Scholarship goes to Coltin Marlowe of Mitchell, who has competed in the state wrestling tournament for three seasons and is a two-time conference champion. He was 41-8 his senior season and finished third (twice) and fourth in the state meet in his career. He is a team captain and an all-WNC selection. Marlowe is an honors scholar and will attend N.C. State.

The M.B. Haynes Scholarship will go to Tye Mintz of Cherokee, a three-sport standout who led the football team to a state 1A championship at quarterback. His 10,146 yards of total offense is fourth all-time in WNC and his touchdown responsibility of 108 is third on the career list. He holds five school records in basketball and finished with more than 1,000 points and over 500 rebounds.He will play football at Kennesaw State.

 Mitchell’s Jessie Pitman will receive the Park Ridge Hospital Scholarship. Pitman competed in basketball, football and track for the Mountaineers. He is ranked 16th in his class with a grade-point average of 4.133. Pitman is an all-conference football player with 77 tackles and 22 receptions his senior season. He works as a lifeguard and a referee for youth leagues.

 The Reid & Pauline Jarrett Memorial Scholarship goes to Brody Smith of Mitchell, who played basketball, football and track for the Mountaineers. He won a state title in track in the 400-meter run. Smith has a 3.54 grade-point average. He had career receiving totals of 112 catches for 2,345 yards.  

 Chloe Profitt of Reynolds is the recipient of the George and Sandra Beverly Scholarship. She has played basketball and soccer the past four seasons. She has six varsity letters and a 4.1 grade-point average. Profitt is a community volunteer with MANNA, Eblen and at shelters. She babysits and serves as a youth basketball and soccer coach.  She will attend Brevard College.

The Thomas and Connie Rogers Newcome/Ronald Rogers Memorial Scholarship, given annually to honor the father of Connie Rogers Newcome, who like her father is a member of WNC Hall of Fame.   The scholarship goes to Jessica Beckner of Murphy, who was named the Smoky Mountain Conference Player of the Year in basketball and volleyball. She was a three-time all-conference performer in both sports. She has a 4.6 grade-point average and is a member of the National Honor Society. Beckner will attend Young Harris College. 

The first of two scholarships given by Dr. David & Trudy Cappiello goes to Jaden Woods, who is ranked No. 1 in his senior class at Madison with a grade-point average of 4.65. He was the Wrestler of the Year in the Western Highlands Conference after posting a 42-2 record this season. He is an academic all-conference selection. Woods completed high school and two years of college in four years and will attend UNC Asheville. 

The other Cappiello Scholarship is awarded to Kaleb Woods of Owen, who was a team Most Valuable Player in football and wrestling. He was a team captain and all-conference player in football. He finished in the top eight in the Western Regionals in wrestling. He is a volunteer at his church and will attend Brevard College. 

2017 Scholarship Winners -10 at $1,500 each

The Arby's Scholarship winner was Darren Blankenship, Swain County: Darren played four sports for the Maroon Devils and was all-conference and a conference champion in cross country. He has also worked two summer jobs and is a two-time member of the National Honor Society. He will attend N.C. State.

The Ronald Rogers Memorial Scholarship was presented to Teegan Bullock of North Henderson. An all-conference standout in basketball, softball and volleyball, Teegan is an all-state selection in softball. She works part-time and has a 3.67 grade-point average as a NCHSAA Scholar Athlete. She will attend Brevard College. Ronald Rogers and his daughter, scholarship sponsor Connie Rogers-Newcome, are both members of the WNC Sports Hall of Fame.  

The Trudy and Dr. David Cappiello Scholarship went to CalebFerguson of Tuscola. A multi-sport star with the Mountaineers, Caleb was the All-Western  Football Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for nearly 2,000 yards as a running back. He was also a state finalist in outdoor and indoor track while carrying a 3.6 grade-point average.

The Mission Sports Medicine Scholarship was awarded to Alysha Floyd of Hiwassee Dam. Selected as an all-conference athlete seven times in three sports during her career, Alyshahas also beeninvolved as a camp counselor, junior firefighter and as student body president. She plans to attend Western Carolina and major in education.

The Bill Owen Memorial Scholarship went to Samantha Fortner of Mitchell: A three-year letterman in soccer and volleyball, Samantha is the captain of her soccer team. She is ranked No. 1 in her senior class, is the student body president and the Homecoming Queen.  Samantha is also a volunteer for a summer camp for kids with dyslexia. Charles D. Owen gives this scholarship annually in honor of his son. 

The Sandridge Medical Devices Scholarship was presented to Justin Greene of Mitchell: A four-year starter in baseball and basketball who has been all-conference in both sports, Justin was the Western Highlands Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2015 and the league’s Player of the Year last season. He works with Vacation Bible School with his church and has helped feed the homeless.

The Park Ridge Hospital Scholarship went to Callie Rhea of North Buncombe: The captain of her track and field and volleyball teams, Callie is a five-time conference champion and All-Western selection in track. She has been a volunteer for at least six different organizations and ranks in the top 15 percent of her class with a 4.7 grade-point average. She will attend Gardner-Webb.

A Mountain Amateur Athletic Club Scholarship was awarded to Sophie Robinson of North Buncombe. A four-year letterman in softball and tennis, Sophie has been named Most Improved Player and a team captain. She works part-time at Ingles, received her license as a Certified Nursing Assistant and will graduate with honors with a 3.5 grade-point average.

The Reid and Pauline Jarrett Memorial Scholarship was presented to Todd Self of Mitchell. A two-sport star with the Mountaineers, Todd was a state champion wrestler after finishing second in the state last season.  He was also an All-Western and all-conference lineman who led his team to a 34-9 record in football over the past three seasons. He will attend Western Carolina.

A Mountain Amateur Athletic Club Scholarship went to LesLeigh Tabor of Franklin. A four-time all-conference performer in track and field who also played basketball, LesLeigh is a three-time state champion in the shot put. A member of the National Honor Society and volunteer for Toys for Tots, Lesleigh plans to go to school at Western Carolina.

2016 Scholarship Winners - 10 at $1,000 each

Reggie Battle, Asheville High football. Reggie rushed for 1,554 yards and 21 touchdowns, and finished his career with 3,714 yards and 47 scores. The fifth-ranked career rusher in school history will play at Mars Hill. 

Jake Marr, Swain County. A three-sport athlete who will play football at Carson-Newman, Jake is the son of two teachers. He has a 4.23 grade-point average.  

 Colton Millsaps, Robbinsville. Colton will take his 4.1 grade-point average to Limestone College to play football. He played three sports for the Black Knights and was the Smoky Mountain Conference Back of the Year in football. 

Ben Nickol, Tuscola. Ben will achieve a long-held goal of playing college soccer at Wofford. He tied a school record with 84 career goals, and has a 3.8 grade-point average. 

Samantha Olson, Enka. The child of firefighters, Samantha plans a double major in Biomedical Engineering and Education at NC State. She was the Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Year in basketball.  

Kinsley Orr, Robbinsville. A three-sport athlete for the Black Knights, Kinsley started every game for four years and is a three-time team captain. She plans to return to Robbinsville after graduation  from Western Carolina and work for Graham County schools as a speech therapist.   

Mikalya Ray, Carolina Day. The daughter of former Asheville High football standout and police officer Mickey Ray, Mikalya will attend Peace College. She played three sports for the Wildcats, overcoming a torn ACL to help the team win a state title in basketball.

Victoria Schandevel, Hendersonville. A student leader at First Methodist Church in Hendersonville, Victoria has been her class president for three years. She played on three state championship volleyball teams with the Bearcats.  

Noah Pete Willingham, North Henderson. Pete plans to attend N.C. State. He is an all-conference wrestler who also competed in cross country and tennis for the Knights. 

 Zach Webster, Tuscola. Zach plans to attend Carson-Newman after playing four sports for the Mountaineers. The president of the National Honor Society, he led the football team in passing and tackles this past season.   

 2015 Scholarship Winners -  5 at $1,000 each

The Joe Eblen Memorial Scholarship went to Alex Paulk, an Asheville High football player who will attend Davidson. Paulk has a grade-point average of 4.71 and is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Math Honor Society. He was a two-way starter for the Cougars.

The Reid Jarrett Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Mekhi McGuyver, an Asheville High track and field standout and Florida A&M signee who has two state titles in the triple jump. He was ranked No. 1 in the state in all N.C. classifications in the indoor season and holds the school record at 48 feet, 2 inches. McGuyver has a grade-point average over 3.0 and posted a score of 1,500 on his SAT.

The Bill Owen Memorial Scholarship was given to Reynolds soccer player Megan McCallister. She was named the Citizen-Times All Western Player of the Year each of the past two seasons. She is the school's all-time leader in goals scored and is still adding to her total of more than 140 while carrying a 4.5 grade-point average and ranking among the top 10 percent of her class.

Mountain Amateur Athletic Club Scholarship went to Hayesville basketball star Amanda Thompson. She ranks fifth in her class with a 4.5 grade-point average and plans to attend Mercer. Thompson was the Smoky Mountain Conference Player of the Year after averaging 14.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.6 steals. 3.7 assists and 2.9 blocks per game, and finished with 1,408 career points and 1,056 rebounds.

The other Mountain Amateur Athletic Club Scholarship was presented to Cassandra Born, a multi-sport standout at Hendersonville. She competed in volleyball, swimming and track for the Bearcats and will attend Tusculum College. She has a 3.9 grade-point average, is on the A-B Honor Roll and is co-editor of the Yearbook.

2014 Scholarships Winners - 2 at $1,000;  2 at $500

Joe Eblen Memorial Scholarship ($1,000): Cameron Pryor, North Henderson volleyball.

Bill Owen Memorial Scholarship ($1,000): Austin Stamey, Roberson soccer.

Southeastern Sports Scholarships (two at $500 each): Raymius Smith, Swain football and basketball; Sarah Spiro, Smoky Mountain cross-country and track.