Cameron Wright knows he made the right decision.
The senior from Hernando chose to come to Columbus to attend the Mississippi School of Mathematics and Science beginning with his junior year, and he’s never looked back.
Since coming to MSMS, Wright has joined the Blue Waves boys soccer team and become one of its leading scorers. He’s also been an academic standout, posting one of the highest GPAs in Lowndes County, being named a STAR Scholar of Mississippi and a National Merit Finalist and being nominated for a statewide presidential award.
Now, Wright can add one more honor to that lengthy list. Last week, he was named the boys Region 4 Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athlete for the Class of 2021 by the Mississippi High School Activities Association. The award honors one boy and one girl from each of the MHSAA’s eight geographical districts, taking into account academic performance and participation in athletics and activities.
“It’s really a form of recognition for some of the work that I’ve put in and some of the work that all of my teachers and coaches and teammates and everyone else has put in, supporting me and really helping me get this far in my high school career,” Wright said.
The awards, launched in 1996, are named after longtime Gulfport coach and athletic director Lindy Callahan, an eight-time hall of fame inductee. Wright’s win carries a $1,500 scholarship through MHSAA partners including BankPlus, Mississippi Sports Medicine, Mississippi Farm Bureau, College Savings Mississippi and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.
The senior is still deciding between Purdue and Texas A&M for his collegiate destination and said the money is certainly appreciated.
Wright knew he’d been nominated for the award, submitting a 500-word personal essay as well as letters of recommendation from his principal, coach Armando Leyva and a teacher. Winning it, however, was a surprise.
MSMS director of student affairs LeAnn Alexander emailed Wright early last Wednesday morning telling him congratulations on the win. For Wright, it was far from expected.
“Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of my chances of getting the award,” he said. “It was definitely a shock to me.”
Wright’s time in Columbus is running low, but he said he has no regrets about choosing MSMS. While the COVID-19 pandemic limited the time he was able to spend with friends, being part of a soccer team that made an unexpected — but much enjoyed — playoff appearance was a joy.
“It’s been amazing,” Wright said of his two years in Columbus. “If I were given this choice again, I would choose it every time.”