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Cleveland seniors win John Jacobs Scholarship

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CLAYTON — Cleveland High seniors Liam Ryan and AnnaKate Gilchrist were honored with the John Jacobs Courage Scholarship Award on May 21. The award is named after the former Smithfield-Selma football player and Johnston County coach and teacher, who passed away after a 14-month battle with cancer in 2017. The $500 scholarship was established in 2018 in his memory to be given every year to one male athlete and one female athlete who exemplifies dedication, perseverance and courage that Jacobs showed throughout his fight against cancer.

Ryan won for his dedication to baseball after being cut from the baseball team in middle school both years. Ryan’s determination helped him make the baseball team as a junior varsity player or varsity player all four years at Cleveland High. Jacobs was the junior varsity baseball coach at Cleveland High and coached Ryan as a freshman. Ryan is a member of the National Honor Society, was academic all-conference and will attend UNC-Wilmington next year. Gilchrist was all-conference in softball and tennis, while being academic all-conference throughout her career. Gilchrist is a member of the National Honor Society and will attend Barton College next year on a softball scholarship.