DUBLIN — Through 21 matches for the Lady Knights of West Bladen, senior Mallory Davis continued to build on a resume that began years ago when she first stepped onto a volleyball court.
But that’s not the only area where Davis’ star shines.
Along with her skills on the volleyball court, Davis has excelled in the classroom. And together, those two areas have led her to being tabbed the Mountaire Farms/Civitas Media Scholar Athlete of the Month for October.
“Mallory has made many improvements over the past four years,” said West Bladen assistant coach Laura Hall. “Mallory was a quiet and shy freshman, with loads of potential. (But) she listened to the criticism of her coaches, input from the upper classmen and involved herself with travel volleyball.
“She is consistently on the ‘A’ honor roll and participates in several clubs and organizations,” Hall added. And because of that, she “was chosen among her peers to act as marshal …”
The program’s mission is to highlight male and female senior student-athletes within Robeson, Scotland and Bladen counties who carry a 3.0 GPA or higher. Nominees need to also be recognized by their coaches for outstanding sportsmanship and perform with superior ability in athletic competition.
Each monthly winner receives a $1,000 college scholarship and becomes eligible for an additional $1,500 in college funds that is awarded in June to the male and female scholar athletes of the year.
Academically, Davis is ranked No. 10 in her class of 194 seniors and carries a 4.445 weighted GPA. She has also taken a number of honors courses — including biology, English, world history, algebra, civics and economics, earth/environmental science, pre-calculus and health science.
In addition, Davis has qualified for the Honors College at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where she has verbally committed to take her academic and volleyball skills. She plans to major in athletic training while playing volleyball for the Lady Braves.
On the volleyball court, Davis has put up numbers that will surely land her on the All-Four County Conference’s first team. As captain of the Lady Knights, Davis recorded 240 service points, 47 aces, 192 kills and 137 blocks during the 21-match season.
“(She) is a natural leader both on and off the court,” Hall said in her nomination of Davis. “She assists her team members to improve … (and) at practice she teaches drills and conditioning exercises she has learned at camps … when asked, she comes to jayvee practices to help the younger girls with their skill development.”
While Hall has witnessed Davis’ improvement and leadership skills over the past few seasons, there has been much closer scrutiny from Davis’ head coach — who is also her mom.
“If anything, I’ve been much harder on her than I have the other players,” said coach Gaye Davis. “But that’s because I know what she’s capable of.”
And Davis knows precisely when her daughter’s volleyball skills took off.
“There’s been a 180-degree change since Mallory started playing travel ball,” Gaye Davis said. “She played with Cape Fear in Wilmington last year and it’s really helped with her confidence and leadership.
“As her coach, I’m proud of what she has accomplished at West Bladen,” she added. “As her mother, I’m proud to see the kind of person she’s becoming overall.”
Hall gives a lot of the credit for Mallory Davis’ success to her parents.
“Mallory has been taught that the only way to get better is through hard work,” Hall said. “I know she will continue to live out the values instilled in her (and) perform to the very best of her ability in both academics and athletics.”