Beyond the Scoreboard: Finalists for McNabb Foundation Scholarships

Zaria Joyner is a basketball standout at Carolina Day. (Photo courtesy of Carolina Day).

In advance of the 57th WNC Sports Awards Banquet sponsored by Ingles, will honor each of the 124 WNC high-school athletes and teams chosen as finalists.

Today’s honorees are finalists for the John & Darlene McNabb Foundation Scholarship program.

In addition to the McNabb Foundation, scholarship sponsors include Arby’s, Bill and Jeanette Jarrett, Cuyler P. and Brenda G. Medore, Buncombe County Commissioners, Charles D. Owen, Ingles, M.B. Haynes, Mountain Amateur Athletic Club, Park Ridge Hospital, Sandra and George Beverly, Thomas and Connie Rogers-Newcome, Dr. David and Trudy Cappiello.

The finalists include:

** Franklin High’s Nathan Richards is 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.

** Izzy Garcia-Perez of Asheville High is 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.

** Hendersonville’s Micaiah Darity is 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.

** Zaria Joyner of Carolina Day is 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.

** Tykel Landrum of Hendersonville is WNC’s all-time football leader in receptions (253), receiving yardage (4,558 yards), receiving touchdowns (46) and interceptions (27).

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.

**Corey McVay 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.

** Hendersonville’s Tanner Gilliam, Hendersonville is 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 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.

** Coltin Marlowe of Mitchell has competed in the state wrestling tournament for three seasons and it 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.

** Tye Mintz of Cherokee is 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 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.

** Brody Smith of Mitchell 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 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.

** Jessica Beckner of Murphy 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.

** Jaden Woods 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.

** Kaleb Woods of Owen 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.

The 57th WNC Sports Awards Banquet is set for May 6 at Omni Grove Park Inn. Tickets are available at

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