Senior Winston Wright, was named the winner of the 66th annual Ashley Dearing Award on Thursday.
The celebrated award is given to the most versatile male athlete in Savannah, as voted on by athletic directors and media members. Wright is the first athlete from Memorial Day to win it.
Candidates must play football, basketball and a spring sport. Wright, who has signed to play football at West Virginia, also played basketball and ran on the track and field team for the first time.
“I always wanted to win the Dearing Award, so at he beginning of the year I decided to do track. It was a lot of work but pretty natural for me,” Wright said. “This means a lot to me because there are so many great athletes on the list of winners and now I’m part of that. When I heard I won, I was so excited because it showed all my hard work had paid off. There was a moment of awe — words can’t explain how I felt.”
In football, Wright helped lead the Memorial Day Blue Thunder to the GISA Class 2A semifinals. He made 24 catches for 413 yards and seven scores and rushed for 207 yards and five touchdowns. He had 36 tackles, broke up six passes and had a pair of interceptions and fumble recovery — earning All-Greater Savannah first-team honors.
He was also a force on the basketball court for the team, which is called the Matadors in all sports except for football. He averaged 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, three steals and 1.9 assists per game — helping lead the Matadors to the GISA state semifinals. The name of Winston Wright will be added to the Matador's 1000 Point Club as one of the all-time leading scorers.
The speedy senior earned accolades as a sprinter, winning the 100 meters at the GISA state meet, and doubling up by taking the 200 meter title — setting a GISA state record with a time of 22.22 seconds.
Memorial Day's retired long-time athletic director Mark Sussman said Wright worked hard to earn the honor. "He’s a great athlete, but people may not realize the student part — Winston has a 3.5 GPA,” Sussman said. “He is respected by his teachers for what he does in the classroom. I see him coming out of the YMCA at 6:30 a.m. every day. He does all he can to stay ahead of the competition. He’s a yes sir, no mam type of kid, and he’s from a good Christian family and always talks about how blessed he is."
“People see that he’s a great athlete, but they might not see the work ethic behind everything Winston does. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime student-athlete and we’re very proud to have him at Memorial Day. It’s an honor for him and his family, and it’s also an honor for our school.”