This is the top athletic award given by the NCHSAA to honor the most outstanding male and female high school athletes in the state. They were presented at the Dean E, Smith Center on the University of North Carolina campus during the NCHSAA's Annual Meeting on Thursday.
The winners were selected by a special panel of media representatives from across the state. They were each presented with the Pat Best Memorial Trophy, named for the former Goldsboro High principal and president of the NCHSAA who died unexpectedly in 1988.
"On behalf of our Board of Directors and the entire membership of the NCHSAA, we congratulate these outstanding student-athletes on their tremendous achievements during their high school careers," said Davis Whitfield, commissioner of the NCHSAA. "Both have extremely impressive credentials which are in the same vein as previous winners of this award, and we certainly wish them well in their future pursuits.
Morris is a tremendous three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track, a four-year member of those teams at Salisbury. During his senior year, he was the leading rusher and Most Valuable Player in the NCHSAA 2-AA state championship game in football, earning the Central Carolina Conference Player of the Year award. He also played an important role in helping the Hornets reach the Western Regionals in basketball.
Additionally in the winter season, he ran winter track and won the state championship in the 55 meters. In the spring, he runs outdoor track and will be defending his crown as the two-time defending champion in both the 100 and 200 meters. He will also participate in other relay events. During his last three years at Salisbury, he has won five individual state championships and helped lead three teams to state crowns with this spring's season remaining. He will attend the University of North Carolina next year on a football scholarship.
This is the 26th year in which awards have been given to the top overall male and female athletes.
Other Tar Heels that have won the award include Ethan Albright ('89), Na Brown ('95), Tyrell Godwin ('97), Julius Peppers ('98), Kendric Burney ('06) and Kareem Martin ('10).