Carl Chavis was born in the mountains of western North Carolina. His family moved to High Point when he was young, which allowed him to attend William Penn. During his time at the school, Chavis was a 3-time Golden Glove heavyweight boxing champion. He was also student body president, captain of both the basketball and football teams, and even head lifeguard at the Washington Terrace Park pool. He was best known during his high school years for his football skills. In 1941, Chavis led his team to a state championship; during the season they outscored their opponents 174-25. He earned an athletic scholarship to Morgan State University, where he starred on the football team and studied until 1944, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Sent to Europe following the D-Day invasion, Chavis was killed on September 11, 1944 during a battle in France. He received a Purple Heart and a Silver Star for his bravery and heroism. The Carl Chavis YMCA is named in his honor.
(Left) Silver Star (Right) Purple Heart
Carl Chavis, William Penn Class of 1941. Courtesy of the High Point Historical Society, High Point, NC