Mary Day named finalist in Wendy’s High School Heisman

Mary Day was honored as a Wendy’s High School Heisman finalist at the presentation ceremony in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame last Friday. Photo submitted.

Mary Day was honored as a Wendy’s High School Heisman finalist at the presentation ceremony in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame last Friday. Photo submitted.


New Albany senior Mary Day was honored recently as one of 14 finalists in the Wendy’s High School Heisman program in Mississippi.
“I think I found out that I was a state finalist in October or November… right around the beginning of soccer season,” Day said. “I knew I was a state finalist, but I didn’t really know how big of a deal that was or anything until recently when they sent an email, saying they were honoring all of us and that there were only 14 of us in the state, so it was a great honor.”
Day said that the finalists were notified of the winner prior to going to the ceremonies last Friday, but at the ceremony all of the honorees were treated all the same.
The criteria for being recognized for the prestigious honor for high school seniors include giving back to community, treating people with respect, continuing education and excelling on the athletic field.
Currently over 600,000 students nationally have been honored over the past 22 years.
“Anyone can apply online and they just ask for academic achievements, athletic achievements and community involvement,” Day said. “You then write an essay about how sports have impacted your life.”
Day stated that most of the 14 finalists had 4.0 GPA averages, high ACT scores, high test scores and highest average awards and many serve as club presidents in their respective schools.
Day maintains a 4.0 GPA and has a 33 ACT score while keeping a busy schedule as a member of the Lady Bulldog volleyball and soccer teams. Day has been a member of both teams the entire four years of her high school career. Day has received many athletic honors including All-Division, Daily Journal All-Area Team, most Valuable Player and team captain.
“I have worked with the humane society through the school and I have worked with the Anchor Club here as well as our church and things that we have done there,” Day said of her community involvement work. “In the Union County Leadership Academy junior year you do a big community project and we did a food drive so that was also listed on my community involvement.”
Day considers her recognition as a Wendy’s High School Heisman finalist to be a huge honor and attributes her hard work in school and athletics as her means of success.
“To be able to go and be recognized for something like this meant a lot,” Day said. “It was very, very nice.”
When asked who had a significant impact on her life during her high school years as an athlete and student, Day stated that New Albany soccer coach Caryl Vogel and her parents had made the most profound effect on her.
“When Caryl came during my eighth grade year, he definitely had the biggest impact on my athletic achievements,” Day said. “I’ve always loved soccer, but I didn’t really know what I was capable of until he came and he moved me to defense. He put me on a Tupelo Futbol Club team; he really invested in me and made me the player that I am. My parents have always been my biggest supporters and motivators. They tell me to do everything all in, all out and to always dream big, work hard and give thanks, so that’s kinda been my motto going through the last four years of athletics.”
Day’s parents are Bruce and Kim Day. Her father is employed by Parker Hannifin and her mother is an English teacher at New Albany High School.
Day will be attending the University of Mississippi this fall and will be in the Sally Barksdale Honors College there. Although undecided presently on her major, Day says she plans to take some different courses to see where she feels like she fits best.
“I think receiving this honor shows how much this school (New Albany) lets you thrive if you put the work in academics and athletics and they do all that they can to support you,” Day said. “I would not have known about this award at all had it not been for the teachers doing the scholarship applications and the principals that write the letters of recommendation. It’s just great to live in a place that lets you and wants you to succeed and to be able to do so here.”

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County and occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. I have lived in Union County my entire life and strive to use my articles to promote our players, teams and schools. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams.