Scholar-Athlete Katie Davis wins NAHS’s first Lindy Callahan Scholarship

March 24th, 2016     City schools Community

New Albany’s Katie Davis has been named a winner in this year’s Lindy Callahan Scholarship competition–the first ever New Albany High School student to achieve this prestigious honor. Winners were announced on the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s (MSHAA) website during the spring break vacation.

“When I realized that I had won the Lindy Callahan scholarship I was so surprised!” said Davis.

Katie Davis, Lindy Callahan Scholarship Winner, 2016 Photo: Trent Baker

Katie Davis, Lindy Callahan Scholarship Winner, 2016
Photo: Trent Baker

Athletic Director Shane Sanderson told NAnewsweb that, “We are extremely excited that Katie has brought this honor to New Albany High School. She is both a classroom and athletic all-star, without doubt.”

Davis has attended school in New Albany from Pre-K to graduation.She has been involved in student government since middle school, holding school-wide office in four grades. She is a graduate of the Union County Leadership Academy and last summer she was chosen to attend the University of Mississippi Lott Leadership Institute for High School Students where she took two college classes and spent a week in Washington, DC.

Katie Davis, NAHS Tennis team

Katie Davis, NAHS Tennis team

During her high school years, Davis played both tennis and soccer. She has played in three state tennis championships; last year she and partner Meghan Van were District Girls Doubles Champions. She was starting goalie this year in soccer where she was named honorable mention to the 2015-2016 All-Division Team. She has been a New Albany Cheerleader for three years and also spent two years on the powerlifting team.

NAHS Cheerleader, Katie Davis

NAHS Cheerleader, Katie Davis

In addition to her sports and leadership activities, Davis has worked to achieve and maintain a 4.0 GPA and scored 34 on the ACT exam. She is also involved with SADD, Anchor Club, and FBLA (where she won first place in a statewide competition for Business Procedures last year). Davis was elected NAHS Homecoming Queen this past fall, and has been in the NAHS musical for three years.

The experience of playing high school sports was an important one for Katie Davis:

“Joining a MHSAA sport starts out as something so simple, just signing up to try something new, and after time flows by and you are looking back as a senior, you realize how incomplete your high school experience would be without them!”

Along with her school activities, Davis is actively involved in Youth Group and Youth Choir at First United Methodist church.  Katie is the daughter of Joe and Jennie Davis, of New Albany, and has one brother, John MacGregor Davis.

About the Lindy Callahan Scholarship

Nominees for the Lindy Callahan Scholarship award are chosen for their academic accomplishments, as well as their participation in high school athletics and extracurricular activities. Each school in the MHSAA’s eight geographical districts may nominate two students,one male and one female, for the award each year. Students are judged as to their excellence in all three areas, and the MSHAA awards two scholarships in each district each year.

This year there were 16 total scholarships awarded in the eight state-wide districts, chosen from approximately 300 nominees. Katie Davis received the District 1 award for a female student; the District 1 male winner is John Connor McRae, of Tishomingo County.

Each winner will receive a $1,500 college scholarship. The 16 scholar-athletes will be honored April 4th in Jackson at the 21st  annual banquet. The event will be livestreamed on the NFHS Network’s Mississippi channel at .

Sanderson says that he has nominated a lot of high quality athletes in the past, and that ” it was on my ‘bucket list’ to have one of my athletes win this award. Coach (Lindy) Callahan has done so much for athletics. I have the utmost respect for him and his wife.”

Who is Lindy Callahan?

Lindy Gene Thomas Callahan and his wife, Ann

Lindy Gene Thomas Callahan and his wife, Ann

Lindy Gene Thomas Callahan was born on Christmas day, 1927, and named in honor of two major events of that year: Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight and Gene Tunney’s heavyweight boxing title victory. Callahan was a standout athlete in football, track and field, and boxing at Meridian High School, then went on to play football and baseball at Ole Miss. After a brief professional baseball career, he was athletic director, head football coach, head baseball coach from 1955-1965, then athletic director until 1992 at Gulfport High School. He earned a M.A. from William Carey College and a Specialist Degree from the University of Southern MS. Though nationally honored as a championship-winning coach, Lindy Callahan made his mark as a sports administrator. Mississippi’s scholar-athletes receive scholarships each year in his honor. 

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