Ava Lowry

Cedar Ridge High School’s Ava Lowry


A pair of elite athletes at Cedar Ridge High School have earned unique recognitions this week, as CRHS men’s tennis standout Josh Mayhew earned a second straight trip to the NCHSAA 3A Individual State Championships, while Red Wolves softball star Ava Lowry earned a scholarship from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. 

Mayhew, the first Red Wolves tennis player in school history to reach the state finals when he did so as a sophomore in 2021, helped lead CRHS to the first-ever Central Conference team championship this spring. CRHS also advanced to the NCHSAA 3A dual team state championships, while Mayhew is all but certain to be named the Central Conference Player of the Year when All-Conference recognitions are awarded later this spring. 

Mayhew punched his ticket to a second straight NCHSAA 3A State Individual Championships by producing a perfect 12-0 record in regular season matches, and then dispatching of Luke O’Donnell of Union Pines High School 6-0, 6-1 in the NCHSAA 3A Mideast Regionals, which were held April 29 at the Burlington Tennis Center. 

Playing under the guidance of his father, Cedar Ridge head coach Steve Mayhew, Josh has only lost one set all season thus far, and shut out seven of his regular season opponents. After coming to the brink of a state title last spring, Mayhew is looking to win a championship in 2022 for the Red Wolves. 

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has announced the winners of the Willie Bradshaw Memorial Endowed Scholarship for 2021-2022, and Cedar Ridge athletic standout Ava Lowry is one of this year’s recipients. 

The Willie Bradshaw Endowed Scholarship provides $750 of scholarship support to selected outstanding Black African American, Native American, Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American student-athletes participating on a sanctioned varsity team at an NCHSAA member school.

Lowry is a senior at Cedar Ridge High School, where she has played softball and volleyball each of her four years. Being team captain during her junior year afforded Ava many leadership opportunities. During Ava’s high school career, she was a member of Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, and the Unified Red Wolves Club, volunteering at the local Ronald McDonald House. 

Ava will attend North Carolina Wesleyan College where she plans to study physical therapy to help realize her goal of becoming a physical therapist for children with autism. She will also be a member of the North Carolina Wesleyan softball team. 

“Athletics has impacted my life in so many ways. Life skills, time management, teamwork, sportsmanship, and how to deal with adversity are all qualities that I have gained,” Lowry said. 

Through her first 55 games as a softball standout at Cedar Ridge, Lowry produced a batting average of .450, including a .444 batting average through the first 20 games of her senior season. She has also produced a .542 on-base percentage, 67 career hits, 48 RBIs, 21 doubles, 8 triples, and 4 home runs. Lowry also helped the Red Wolves win the NCHSAA 3A state softball championship last fall, as she contributed 15 service points, 7 kills, 5 blocked shots, and 4 digs. 

The Willie Bradshaw Memorial Endowed Scholarship is in honor of Durham-native, Willie Bradshaw, an NCHSAA Hall of Fame inductee in 1995 and National High School Hall of Fame inductee in 2010. Bradshaw was an outstanding athlete at Hillside High School, playing on the undefeated 1943 football team that went untied and unscored upon. He went on to North Carolina College (now NC Central University) and then on to pitch professionally for several Negro League teams. He became the first African American city or county athletic director when he took over for the Durham City School system until his retirement in 1992.