Pro Football Hall of Famer honors East Bladen’s Abby Norris


The Award for Excellence program, which is open to all sophomore, junior and senior level high school athletes in the United States, focuses on athletic achievement combined with excellence in academics and community engagement. “Athletes and Army Soldiers alike know the importance of adaptability and versatility when working as a team,” said Mark Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing. “We are excited to partner with the Pro Football Hall of Fame to recognize these outstanding student-athletes; athletes who excel in their chosen sport, shine academically, and are outstanding members of their communities. We look forward to joining the 20 finalists in Canton, Ohio to celebrate their achievements.”

2015 Finalists for Award for Excellence

(Alphabetical Order)

Austin Bell, Broughton High School (Raleigh, N.C.)

Kelly Blake, Loyola High School (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Johndre’ Bowser, Columbia High School (Columbia, N.C.)

Courtney Cecere, Forest Hills High School (Sidman, Pa.)

Robert Creech, Benedictine Military School (Savannah, Ga.)

Colter Eggemeyer, Festus High School (Festus, Mo.)

Lydia Els, River View High School (Warsaw, Ohio)

Lincoln Feist, St. Thomas More High School (Rapid City, S.D.)

Courtney Lamourex, Bartow Senior High School (Bartow, Fla.)

William Love, Indian Valley High School (Gnadenhutten, Ohio)

Tara McFadden, New Brighton Area High School (New Brighton, Pa.)

Daryl Mitchell, Chapel Hill High School (Douglasville, Ga.)

Abby Norris, East Bladen High School (Elizabethtown, N.C.)

Taylor Peebles, Eustace High School (Eustace, Texas)

Jake Peevy, Walnut Grove High School (Loganville, Ga.)

Ian Poveda, Westminster Christian School (Palmetto Bay, Fla.)

Sophia Poveda, Westminster Christian School (Palmetto Bay, Fla.)

Caroline Schultz, Northeast High School (Pasadena, Md.)

Austin Schyvinck, Reedsburg Area High School (Reedsburg, Wis.)

Zach Ward, Hempfield High School (Landisville, Pa.)


Photo courtesy: Ken Armstrong



CHAPEL HILL, NC (WWAY)  – Abby Norris of East Bladen High School and Connor Hough of Pamlico High School have been named the recipients of the 10th annual 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 Thursday, May 7, at the Dean E. Smith Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Clary Medal is made possible through the generosity of the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation through the NCHSAA Endowment. It annually recognizes an outstanding male and female student-athlete, who will each receive a $2,000 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.
Norris has been an excellent athlete at East Bladen, competing in varsity volleyball, basketball and softball. She has served as captain of all three teams and also earned all-conference honors in all three.  She is a four-year player in volleyball and was the Four County Conference Player of the Year in the fall, and last year she was the East Bladen High School Female Athlete of the Year.
She has excelled academically, ranked number one in her class, and is also active in a number of extra-curricular activities. She has been involved in student government, including vice-president of the Student Government Association, is president of the National Beta club and served as captain for the Science Olympiad team for her school.
Abby will be enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall and plans to major in biology. Her parents are both teachers and she is the niece of veteran Chapel Hill High School women’s basketball coach Sherry Norris.
Hough has been a four-year varsity football player and wrestler, starting four years in football and leading the team in tackles as a linebacker in both his junior and senior seasons. He was a two-time conference champion and four-time state qualifier in wrestling, earning more than 100 career victories.
He is an outstanding student who is ranked number one in his class and is also a member of the Spanish Club, serves as treasurer of the Beta Club and is a member of the Leadership Information for Tomorrow (LIFT) Club and its leadership council.  Hough was also involved with extensive Hurricane Irene cleanup as a volunteer a few years ago.
Connor has been accepted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he will start school in the fall.
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 of these award winners are exemplary citizens and student-athletes,” said Davis Whitfield, NCHSAA commissioner. “Abby and Connor are outstanding selections for the Clary Medals, one of the top awards the NCHSAA can present to a student.”




Photo courtesy: Ken Armstrong