High school sports: Clarke named state’s top female athlete

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2024


NCHSAA press release

GREENSBORO – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has announced the winners of the Pat Best Memorial Award for the Male and Female Athletes of the year.

The 2023-24 winners are Emma Clarke from West Rowan High School and Kendre Harrison from Reidsville High School.

The awards have been given by the NCHSAA since the 1985-86 school year. Clarke is the first female winner from Rowan County. Salisbury’s Romar Morris was the male winner for the 2010-11 school year.

Clarke had a wonderful career in volleyball, basketball and softball.

In volleyball, she was All-State her junior and senior years as well as being the Rowan County and South Piedmont 3A Conference Player of the Year as a senior. She had 391 kills this year to give her 935 for her career.

In basketball, she was named All-South Piedmont Conference and All-Rowan County and helped her team to a 31-0 record and 3A NCHSAA State Championship. In the title game, she was named the Sportsmanship Award Winner as well as the West Most Outstanding Player, as she scored 13 points and added 12 rebounds.

In softball as a senior she hit .542 with 52 RBIs and 15 home runs and finished her career with 43 home runs and 154 RBIs. She was named All-State in 2022 and 2023, with 2024 still to be announced. She holds the single season and career home run records for Rowan County.

In the fall, Clarke will continue her softball career at the University of Tennessee.


Kendre Harrison has had a remarkable high school career and is just a rising junior.

In football, he had 62 catches for 940 yards and 16 touchdowns this year including two in the 2A NCHSAA State Championship Game where he was named Offensive MVP. He also had 70 tackles this season including 17 for loss and eight sacks.

In basketball, he averaged 19.4 points, 15.1 rebounds and nearly 4 blocks per game. He scored 19 points on 12 shots and had 13 rebounds and five blocks in the 2A NCHSAA State Championship Game where he was once again, named MVP.

He has a trophy case full of accomplishments including, most recently, being named the MaxPreps Male National Athlete of the Year.