Gunner Schierling of Donelson Christian Academy Named 2021 Recipient of Admiral William P. Lawrence Award
The Admiral William P. Lawrence Award is presented to the top high school football scholar-athlete in the Middle Tennessee-area, based on scholarship, sportsmanship, community service, and value to his team. This award is named in honor of Admiral P. Lawrence, a former Nashville outstanding scholar-athlete and Naval hero.
The recipient of this year’s Admiral P. Lawrence award is Gunner Schierling, a linebacker on the Donelson Christian Academy football team. While helping to lead his team to the 2021 state championship Schierling also managed to maintain a 4.4 grade point average (weighted for Advance Placement class). He scored a 35 on his ACT and was named to the TSSAA All-Academic Team in 2019, Academic All-Region Team in 2020 and 2021, and was part of the school’s tutor program.
On the field Schierling was a hard-hitting, two-time All-Region linebacker who helped his team make great strides from his freshman season, when the Wildcats went 0-10, to his senior season when they went 12-1, which included a seven-game win streak to end the season. The defense led by Schierling allowed an average of just 4.4 points per game in that win streak and recorded four shutouts on the season. Schierling also saw action on the offensive line and on the punt team and kickoff return team.
Coach Paul Wade credited Schierling for being the smartest player he has coached in his 30-year career. As a team leader Schierling was instrumental in keeping the program together after a tornado destroyed the campus including the football field and all facilities. He also was on the student council, FCA leadership team and took school mission trips all while working part-time at Publix Super Market.