DOBSON — East Surry High is only 18.6 miles from Dobson, but graduates of the Pilot Mountain school made a world of difference at Surry Community College this year.
Former Cardinals meant so much to SCC athletics in 2016-2017 that East Surry alums swept the college’s top three awards. Cheyenne Kota was named Surry’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Jack Edwards was tabbed as the college’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Jessi Marion earned the honor of SCC’s Student-Athlete of the Year.
A volleyball player at Surry, Kota has already obtained her CNA I and II certifications and is employed with Senior Quality Care. A three-sport standout at East Surry, Kota helped lead the Cardinals to the state championship game in volleyball her senior season. She also excelled academically in high school, earning membership in the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society while serving as a member of the HOSA club.That academic success continued at SCC the last two years as she made both the Dean’s List and President’s List with an overall 3.44 grade point average (GPA), including a perfect 4.0 GPA this past fall. Kota is set to obtain her Associate in Science degree this spring.
At Surry, Kota is also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, has served as SCC Ambassador this past academic year, and is a member of Palmyra United Methodist Church. During her time at Surry, she has volunteered with numerous events to better her community. On the court, Kota helped lead the Lady Knights to a 19-9 record and a third-place finish in Region X this past season. She led the team in service aces while finishing second in hitting percentage to earn Second Team All-Region honors as well as the team’s Coaches Award. Kota plans to attend Appalachian State University this fall to major in Cellular and Molecular Biology and eventually obtain a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies.
A two-sport athlete at East Surry, Edwards served as two-year captain of the football team and helped guide the Cardinals to a second-place finish in the state in golf. Over the past two years at SCC, Edwards has been a Dean’s List and President’s List student with an overall GPA of 3.53, including a perfect 4.0 this past fall.
The recipient of the Alex Chatham Award the last two years at Surry, Edwards has also volunteered with collecting food for the Foothills Food Pantry at the most recent Dobson Christmas parade. On the links, he helped lead Surry to the Region X golf championship along with a fourth-place finish in the District Tournament this past fall. Individually, he was named Most Improved Player in 2017. Surry’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Edwards will graduate this spring with an Associate in Arts degree and will attend Appalachian State in the fall to pursue a degree in Computer Information Systems.
As Surry Community College’s Student-Athlete of the Year, Marion excels in all walks of life. A Certified Nursing Assistant with Quality Care, Marion attends Woodland Baptist Church. A three-sport star at East Surry, Marion was involved in a large number of school and community service groups while maintaining her success on and off the court. She was a teammate of Kota’s on the 2014 1A state volleyball runners-up.
At Surry the last two years, she has been a Dean’s List and President’s List student with an overall 3.81 GPA, including a perfect 4.0 this past fall. Also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and a Phi Theta Kappa nominee, she was named an Exemplary Academic Achievement Award winner by the NJCAA with a 3.75 cumulative GPA her freshman year.
In addition, she has volunteered with the SCC Foundation Golf Tournament, Dig Pink Breast Cancer Awareness volleyball events, Spike Out Hunger Food Drive Campaign, Surry County Fiddler’s Convention, Surry Volleyball Camps, and the Knights’ Athletic Club Bingo events. Marion led the team in kills, blocks, and hitting percentage, where she was ranked 42nd nationally and earned this year’s Offensive Player of the Year Award. This past season she was also named First Team All-Region, finishing in the top 10 for Player of the Year voting in Region X.
This spring, Marion will earn her Associate in Science degree and plans to attend either the University of North Carolina or Lenoir-Rhyne University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science before obtaining a Masters in Occupational Therapy.
A First-Team All-Region X selection, Marion was named the Surry volleyball team’s Best Offensive Player. Kota was honored with the team’s Coach’s Award.