CHAPEL HILL — A veteran football coach and a student-athlete were honored by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association at its 2015 Annual Meeting with the NCHSAA’s A.J. “Tony” Simeon Courage Award on Thursday.
Dante Veltri of Carrboro High School and Scott Braswell of Wilmington Hoggard were presented with Courage Awards at the Smith Center at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting on Thursday
Veltri is a student-athlete at Carrboro High School who has certainly overcome adversity. This young man, who is a wrestler, missed his entire sophomore year due to cancer, undergoing treatment and the like. The school applied for a medical hardship, which was obviously granted and well documented, and Dante came back this year to compete. He wound up finishing fourth in the 120-pound division in the NCHSAA state wrestling championships.
Braswell, long time head football coach and athletic director at Hoggard in Wilmington, also has showed remarkable tenacity as he battled health issues. He had surgery at the Mayo Clinic in August to remove a rare mass on his spine, with the operation taking 25 hours over a two-day period. Despite the intrusive surgery, Scott was back on the sidelines coaching just five weeks later, with one of his players noting that “Coach has the dedication that even cancer couldn’t deter.”
The Courage Awards are designed to honor individuals who, despite adversity, have demonstrated exemplary character and performance and, as a result, have been an inspiration to all those involved with the programs of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. They are named in honor of NCHSAA Hall of Famer Tony Simeon, a long-time coach at High Point Central.
“These two individuals are truly inspirational and exemplify what is great about high school athletics,” said Davis Whitfield, commissioner of the NCHSAA.