Since the Mountain Amateur Athletic Club resumed the WNC Sports Awards Banquet in 2014, the organization has given out 29 scholarships to students from 16 schools worth a total of $33,000 over four years.
In 2014, the MAAC awarded four scholarships totaling $3,000. The 2017 event featured 10 scholarships worth $1,500 each. The goal of the board is to continue growing the scholarship fund.
Toward that end, The MAAC Scholarship Golf Fund Tournament is held each year to raise funds. The 2017 event is Oct. 11 at Etowah Valley Golf & Resort.
You can find more info and a registration form for the tournament here.
For more information on creating a scholarship for a deserving athlete, contact board member Keith Jarrett at email@example.com or at 712-6324.
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.
he 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.
he 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.