The Kip Nininger Scholarship Fund was created in 2021 to honor the legacy of Christopher “Kip” Dowell Nininger, an all-American boy with a glow in his eyes, swagger in his step, and heart of gold.

Kip may have been best known in the Roanoke Region as a standout high school athlete, but what stands out to those who knew him was his ability to stand up for the “little guys” and compassion for others through volunteerism.

Kip was a fierce competitor but only a few got to see what a deeply compassionate person he was privately.

As a two-time state champion wrestler, Kip finished his high school wrestling career 130-19 with 80 pins. As a wrestler from an early age, he earned a record of 256-26 with 179 pins in elementary and middle school with six state titles. His love of wrestling started at a young age, and his determination showed the minute he’d tell dad “let’s get it Daddy” at 2 years of age.

State championship wrestling

  • 2020 (Christiansburg): 2nd, 145-pound division
  • 2019 (Cave Spring) 3rd, 132 pound division
  • 2018 (Cave Spring): 1st, 120-pound division
  • 2017 (Cave Spring): 1st, 106-pound division

K9, as he was known in athletic circles because he always used the number 9, also played football, baseball, and hockey. He also earned driving recognition with a 4th place world finish in the RC Cars Extreme Off Road series and won 6 consecutive motorcycle races in the Virginia Hair Scramble series.

Kip was an avid outdoorsman, finding great joy in fishing skiing, hunting, riding four-wheelers, and visiting the beach. His homes away from home were Wrightsville Beach, Hawaii, and “Kip’s Mountain Getaway” at a Massanutten log cabin.

Off the field, Kip is remembered as a hard-worker with a desire to help others. He volunteered as a youth wrestling coach and at the Roanoke Rescue Mission.

He was a “big brother” to his friends, cousins, and stood in the way of bullies. Kip never met a stranger and was outgoing, kind, and forgiving. “Everyone deserves a second chance,” he would say.

The world needs more Kip.

Christopher “Kip” Dowell Nininger – August 21, 2001-May 8, 2021