When the Winton Woods Warriors football team hoisted the Division II State Championship trophy, much of the credit belonged to their captain, #36 Avery Cunningham. The championship was the first of any kind for the Winton Woods community.
Avery, who was voted captain by his teammates in both his junior and his senior years, led his teammates on the field, in the classroom and in the locker room. Avery suffered a potentially career-ending injury early in his junior year, but worked himself back through hard work in the weightroom and earned the admiration of his teammates. After not one but two surgeries to repair his shoulder, Avery went through grueling rehabilitation to still achieve a 275 power clean, a hex bar of 505 and a squat of 425 at the teamís final testing last July. His play on the field earned him first team all-conference, as well as recognition as the defensive player of the year in the conference. He was selected all-city by the Cincinnati Enquirer, first team all-district and first team all-state. Avery earned first team all-conference as a sophomore as well. He was also selected to the prestigious Ohio North-South All- Star team. Avery was on the South team, which pulled out an exciting 23-20 victory.
In the classroom Avery is a student-athlete role model. He has a 3.4 core grade point average. He is on the principalís student ambassadors program, which is selected by the schoolís principal, Dr. Terri Holden, as the students who best represent Winton Woods High School.
In addition to being an exceptional football player, Avery is a standout track performer. He won the 110 and 300 hurdle events at the league this past season. His performance at the league meet earned him runner of the meet and a school record in the 300 hurdles. At the district track meet the following week, Avery again captured both events.
Averyís talent caught the eye of Coach Dan Enos at Central Michigan, who offered Avery a scholarship after Enos was named the head football coach for the Chippewas this January.