Samuel William Davis, Sr.
Born in 1923 in North Wilkesboro, Samuel William Davis, Sr. served as athletic director and coach at Hickory’s former Ridgeview High School from 1952 to 1967 and at College Park Junior High from 1967 to 1980. Davis is best remembered for the Ridgeview Panthers football team. During his tenure there, the Ridgeview team captured 13 straight conference football championships, winning five straight titles from 1962 to 1966. His last three teams at Ridgeview were not only state champions, but also were unbeaten and unscored upon.
The 69-year-old auto-racing superstar won 50 Winston Cup races, including the NASCAR Winston Cup Championship in 1961 and 1965. In 1998 he was named as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers. Retiring from driving in 1966, Jarrett took over management of the Hickory Motor Speedway. From there, he went on to become an announcer for CBS and ESPN. He also hosted his own television show and worked in radio as well.
Hanley Hayes Painter
Born in Bryson City, NC in 1924, Painter coached at Lenoir-Rhyne College for 30 years. The Lenoir-Rhyne teams compiled a 66-43-2 record during his tenure. He coached twelve All-American players and thirty-seven All Converence players. He was named Coach of the Year four times in the conference. Painter was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1988.
During his tenure as Lenoir-Rhyne football coach, the Illinois native guided the team to the 1960 NAIA National Championship. He was one of the best coaches in the nation, compiling a 120-37-7 record from the 1940s through the 1960s. In 1962, Stasavich moved to East Carolina University, where he worked until his death in 1975.
2001 High School Student Athletes of the Year
Bandys High School – Kristen Houser – Wesley Sigmon
Bunker Hill High School – Manda Edwards – Chris Gilfillan
Fred T. Foard High School – Travis Evans – Hope Miller
Hickory High School – Lance Johnson – Eleanor Wilson
Maiden High School – Candace Baucom – Grant Rembert
Newton-Conover High School – Dorothy Naidas – Taylor Stone
St. Stephens High School – Tim Bowman – Brooke Hoffman