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With an armful of plaques and trophies following Fike High’s Awards Day on May 20, the usually sure-handed Myles Cyrus let one plaque slip through his hands but, before it hit the floor, the Golden Demons all-state soccer player managed to get a foot on it and soften its fall.
Such was the year Cyrus had — overloaded but still able to make the play.
With a competitive field, including two of his own teammates, Cyrus emerged as the 2019 Thomas Law Attorneys Male Student-Athlete of the Year as presented by The Wilson Times. He helped the Demons win 3-A Big East Conference championships in soccer and baseball while posting a 4.44 GPA in the International Baccalaureate program at Fike. Cyrus, ranked 11th in his senior class, will attend Wake Forest University on one of its prestigious Joseph G. Gordon Scholarships. He was also one of two recipients of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s William Clary Medal scholarships and was named Fike’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, along with a load of other awards.
“It’s definitely a tremendous honor — not even doing everything to get accolades but having your hard work recognized after all these long four years,” he said. “It feels really good to get honored — and it is a lot. I didn’t know how I was going to walk out with it! It is an amazing feeling. Just at a loss for words!”
Cyrus’ big year began in the fall on the soccer field. He helped the Demons win the Rotary Cup tournament to start the season and then their first regular-season conference championship since 2006 as well as the Big East tournament on the way to a 17-3-1 mark.
“He was definitely a leader by example, always putting what we asked for,” Fike boys soccer head coach Chris Mizelle said. “He’s not a showy guy, he’s not the most vocal guy but he’s always going to be somebody who holds everybody accountable and I think that’s one of the best traits you can ask of somebody that’s going to be the leader of a team. I think we just had a good group of guys that clung on to that and that was a big part of why we had such a successful year. Obviously, his production played a major role in that as well.”
Cyrus, Fike’s lone striker, scored a Big East-best 22 goals to go with 14 assists. He was named to the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association 3-A All-State team, just the seventh Fike boys soccer player to be named all-state, and to the inaugural Wilson Youth Soccer Association’s inaugural Wilson County High School Boys Soccer All-County Team.
In the spring, Cyrus was a mainstay on the Fike baseball team that rolled to the Golden Leaf Invitational tournament title on the way to the Big East championship. The Demons reached the fourth round of the NCHSAA 3-A playoffs before exiting with a 22-2 record.
Cyrus, an All-Big East selection as a junior, struggled a bit more at the plate this spring but was part of some key wins for the Demons.
“Last year, he had a good year; this year, he had some moments,” Fike head coach Buck Edmundson said. “I think he was trying to do a little too much at times, but he came through at big times. Look at that game at Rocky Mount. We were down 5-1 and he led a big comeback. His enthusiasm had a lot to do with that.”
Cyrus said the grind of touring college campuses and going to scholarship interviews took a little bit of a toll.
“That kind of thing, they get in the way and kind of draw your focus,” he said. “But sports, for me, have been kind of a release to get away from that stress of the classroom. So just to be able to participate has been a tremendous amount of fun. We did have a lot of success this year.”
Beyond his contributions in the field and at the plate, Cyrus was a leader, Edmundson said.
“For four years, he’s been just a really hard worker,” the Fike coach said. “As a coach, you can’t ask for a better kid to coach. There’s going to be a lot of success that awaits him. He’s got a bright future. I’m just happy for him for all his accomplishments and he was just a joy to coach.”
Two of Cyrus’ teammates, Garrett Browder and Zach Pittman, merited serious consideration for Male Student-Athlete of the Year, along with Greenfield School senior Jackson Stone. However, Cyrus put together a stunning resume. He is a member of National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta Club and Youth and Government.
Cyrus organized a donation drive to help victims of Hurricane Florence in New Bern and volunteered with OIC of Wilson, Inc., and The Arc of Wilson County as well as with his church, Wave Church of Wilson.
Cyrus said that he’s able to get everything done by making lists the old fashioned way.
“Keeping everything in front of me — making to-do lists, writing everything down, keeping a pretty tight schedule, staying organized, making sure I designate a specific time to get things done,” he said. “Because it is a lot and it does pile up at times and it can get a little overwhelming. I’ve found when you buckle down and take the time to focus on one thing at a time and do it in a list and in order, you get it done in a pretty timely manner. You keep it in front of you, even though it can be a lot, it becomes manageable.”
He thanked his parents, Stephanie and Kelvin Cyrus — both of whom are educators — for their support.
“They’ve been my main supporters through it all, always encouraging me and always pushing me to do my best and helping me implement those strategies in my day-to-day life,” he said. “Just their support system and their love has probably been the biggest factor in helping me get this far.”
Myles Cyrus said he was he was accepted into North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Davidson, Hampton and Cornell but getting a full scholarship to Wake Forest made it an easy decision to become a Demon Deacon.
“All those moments altogether made this year really special,” Cyrus said. “It’s all been a wonderful ride and I’m very excited for what’s ahead!”