CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is pleased to announce the first recipients of the 2021-2022 Mark Dreibelbis Scholarship, which provides scholarships to outstanding student athletes who have demonstrated exceptional leadership. This year’s winners are AC Reynolds’ Mary Shoop, John A. Holmes’ Sydney Spear, Gray’s Creek’s Kylie Aldridge, Midway’s Madissen Cannady and High Point Central’s Michael Cook. Each recipient will receive a $2,500 stipend and plaque.
Mary Shoop | AC Reynolds High School
Maria Shoop is a senior at AC Reynolds High School, where she ran cross-country and was on the track team for all four years. She finished her career as a 4-A state qualifier in cross country and three track events. Mary has received multiple athletic and educational awards throughout her career. She has been named to the all-county, all-conference, all-region, and all-state teams multiple times. Although she has worked with several organizations in her community, she is very proud of the work she has done with the Presbyterian Youth Council of Western North Carolina, working with middle school students in a retreat setting as well as weekly discussion groups. Mary plans to continue her education at Davidson College, where she will study Political Science and Data Science. A thought from Mary – “I continued my leadership with a newfound sense of humility, realizing that my role as a leader in the group was to create space for sharing and listening, rather than trying to answer all questions and dispel doubts.”
Sydney Spear | John A. Holmes High School
Sydney spear is a senior at John A. Holmes High School, where she played basketball, tennis, and softball. She is known throughout the school for her athletic achievement and academic excellence and has been named an NCHSAA Scholar Athlete in all three sports. Sydney’s hard work has taken her to two State Tennis Championships and a Conference Championship in basketball. Sydney has been a Red Cross Blood Drive volunteer in each of her four years, organized a food pantry tennis tournament, and remains a member of the Rocky Hock Baptist Church Youth Group. While Sydney continues her education at one of several schools she was accepted into, she will pursue a career in sports medicine. A thought from Sydney – “I have learned that good planning is crucial and timely adjustments are necessary for success.”
Michael Cook | High Point Central High School
Michael Koch is a senior at High Point Central High School, where he played basketball and baseball and ended his career as captain of both the varsity basketball and baseball teams. Michael was inducted into the National Honor Society in his junior year and will be at the top of his class when he graduates. Michael has given back to his community by helping those affected by hurricanes, helping renovate two churches and a home, and spending time with the homeless. He will study statistics at one of the four schools he was accepted into. A thought from Michael – “It is unfair for a leader to expect perfection from anyone.”
Kylie Aldridge | Gray’s Creek High School
Kylie Aldridge is a senior at Grays Creek High School, where she played softball and volleyball. In her senior year, she broke two district records for kills in a season and kills in a career. She was named to the First Team All-Region and All-State teams. Kylie is also an NCHSAA Scholar Athlete in both sports. During her high school career, she served with the Student Government Association as freshman class secretary, sophomore and junior class president, and student body president as a senior. Kylie has volunteered at her local board and with Special Olympics Volleyball. She has signed on to play softball at Virginia Tech, where she will study biology. A thought from Kylie – “Leadership is defined as ‘the act of leading a group of people or an organisation’. However, I see leadership more deeply as the ability to deal with difficult situations while being consistently present in a group.”
Madissen Candy | middle school
Madissen Candy is a senior at Midway High School, where she played soccer and ran cross country and track. She was selected to captain both the cross country and track teams in her senior year. Madissen has received multiple recognitions, All-County in cross country, track and field and soccer; Conference Female Champion for the Women’s Cross Country Team; Conference Runner of the Year; and all-conference on premises. She is President of the Student Government Association and has been inducted into the Spanish Honor Society. Madissen has volunteered with the Salemburg Food Bank, Operation Christmas Child and several activities with the elderly. Madissen will attend Methodist University and run cross-country while studying business administration. A thought from Madissen – “’It has been said that challenges make life interesting; overcoming them makes life meaningful.’ I think this quote describes my cross country career. . . as I set out to correct what COVID was trying to take from me.”
About the Mark Dreibelbis Scholarship
The Mark Dreibelbis Scholarship, in its first year, recognizes former NCHSAA Associate Commissioner Mark Dreibelbis’ contribution to high school athletics and the legacy of student service programs. Dreibelbis retired in April 2022 after 17 years with the association. A native of Charlotte, Dreibelbis joined the Association after a career spanning more than 20 years at Appalachian State University, where he served in various capacities. He was both intercollegiate and interscholastic for many years, governing NCAA basketball for 30 years and serving in football, basketball and baseball at the high school level. During his tenure with the NCHSAA, Dreibelbis was known for his passionate teaching and mentoring sessions, Daring to Role Model Excellence as Athletic Mentors (DREAM) team training, student service programs and advocacy for public officials as a side hustle.
The Dreibelbis Scholarship recognizes athletes from across the state who have demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout their high school careers. The scholarship was made possible by the generous donation to the efforts of individuals in the officiating community.