Dr. Roy Wrather, a dentist in Covington for 50 years known for his faith and involvement in local sports, died last December at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

His family had been waiting to do something special to honor him for months.

His daughter, Debbie Winberry, came up with the idea of forming the Roy Wrather Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership Scholarship.

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“I was trying to think of ways to honor him because we haven’t really been able to get out and do anything,” Winberry said. “I just thought this would honor him every year so his memory would continue. What was precious to his heart was Jesus. Hopefully we will continue this for a long time.”

Winberry and her family came up with a criteria for the scholarship.  The recipient would be a four-year FCA member, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, be involved in extracurricular activities and take part in community service.

Lora Lee Goforth, who has been involved in FCA at Covington for many years, spearheaded a search that landed on Lucas Ballard, the CHS valedictorian.

Wrather’s family was on hand Wednesday afternoon when the $1,000 scholarship was presented to Ballard and his family.

“Miss Goforth was subtly asking me about myself,” Ballard said. “I didn’t suspect a thing then she surprised me last week and told me I got it … It means a lot that Miss Goforth and the Wrather family thought of me for this.”

Ballard has been an FCA member for four years and was an officer the last two. His other activities include band, Spanish Honor Society and Knowledge Bowl. He’s also the 2021 CHS Student of the Year.

Covington senior Lucas Ballard (front, center) was awarded the Roy Wrather FCA Leadership Scholarship Wednesday afternoon. Also pictured are, from left, front; Mark Ballard, father; Shari Ballard, mother; Callie Winberry; Carson Winberry; back, Elizabeth “Lizzy” Ballard, sister; Lora Lee Goforth; Brenda Wrather; Keith Winberry; Debbie Winberry; and Jake Winberry. Photo by Jeff Ireland

He said FCA was very important to him.

“I helped with FCA breakfasts over the years and I really enjoyed that,” he said. “It gave me a lot of opportunities to help in the community.”

Wrather had nine grandkids who took part football, baseball, soccer, basketball and other sports. He coached several of them and was a regular attendee at Covington High football and baseball games.

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