Meet 2024 WSLS scholarship recipient Radford senior Dawson Martin

On Wednesday, 10 News announced the first of two WSLS scholarship winners — judged on academics, activities, and community service.

This year’s male winner is indeed a standout athlete — in a school filled with standout athletes, in a viewing area filled with standout athletes.

But what makes him rise above, is how much he cares about others.

Linebacker, defensive-end types don’t usually get a ton of attention, but they are the backbone of any defense.

At Radford, senior Dawson Martin exemplifies the hard work and sacrifice, which builds and maintains culture.

It holds programs together...and moves them forward.

”..Just say my parents a lot of mentors in my life, my faith as a Christian is a big part of that. Just wanting to help others because being on that podium, winning a state championship in football, that’s awesome but in 10 years, what’s that really gonna matter? What’s gonna be important is, what impact have you left behind on the people younger than you,” said Martin.

A starter on the state champion Bobcats football team, the three-sport star in football, wrestling, and soccer has seen his share of individual success, including two state silver medals in wrestling with his father Dwayne, as head coach.

But his lasting legacy will be how his presence helped build the program — into yet another Radford success.

“Dawson is the standard. These guys measure themselves on him, and both guys and girls measure themselves on and I think there’s this place where I think a lot of times you have leaders who are vocal but Dawson comes in and does what required, and that feeds and so they don’t look at what Dawson’s doing as inaccessible. And he’s gotten to the point where he’s so good at it that he’s able to help them hone their skills as well,” said Assistant Wrestling Coach John Miller.

And character is doing the right thing when nobody is looking.

With a staggering 526 hours of community service, Dawson’s focus is on helping others, not wondering how others can help him.

All this, while handling schoolwork, with the same commitment that he took onto the playing field.

“I think one of the quotes for me that sums up him and all aspects is, how you do one thing is how you do everything, and so the way in which he approaches his academic responsibilities in the classroom is absolutely how he approaches, all three of his sports. Just the content of his character things to the best at all times,” said Radford High School math/chemistry teacher Clark Ramsey.

”... just everything that I do that I’m leaving a positive impact. People will remember things that I’ve done for the community. The role model that I was, and that’s kind of what guides me in everything I do,” said Martin.

Martin will head to the University of Alabama where he will major in mechanical engineering.

Dawson Martin is just one of two winners of the 2024 WSLS 10 Scholarship. The second winner will be featured on Monday, May 27 before her senior award ceremony scheduled for May 28.

Watch as 10 News’ John Appicello presents the scholarship to Dawson below.

About the Authors

John serves as the Sports Director at WSLS 10. From Virginia Tech, to NASCAR and everything in between, WSLS 10 Sports covers the names making big plays in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB.

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