CHAPEL HILL — A total of 32 student-athletes from North Carolina High School Athletic Association member schools were honored for their outstanding sportsmanship as winners of “Heart of a Champion” recognition on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
The sportsmanship recognition is part of the program offered by the NCHSAA Student Services Division and is sponsored by the North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company. Mark Dreibelbis, NCHSAA Associate Commissioner, and Director of Sports, Championships and Student Services, Chiquana Dancy, administer the program.
Each of the NCHSAA member schools had the opportunity to nominate one male and one female student-athlete for the recognition. The students must have participated in at least one varsity sport or activity, including cheerleading, during the 2017-18 school year, have not been ejected from any contest, and must have demonstrated outstanding citizenship and sportsmanship during their high school careers.
The students filled out an application questionnaire and then a school official, such as the principal or athletic director, also provided an evaluation.
The students were honored Saturday at a luncheon at the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel. The award and luncheon are sponsored by NC Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company.
“We are always looking for ways to highlight student-athletes who exhibit good sportsmanship and role model the character traits we hope all student-athletes learn through education-based athletics,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. “We are proud of the achievements of this select group of student-athletes, both on and off the field.”
Heart of a Champion Award winners for 2017-18
Gunnar Anderson from Alexander Central, nominated by Matt Wilson
Anna Bass from John A. Holmes, nominated by Wes Mattera
Madelyn Bates from Tuscola, nominated by Lisa Clifford
Abby Bland from East Rutherford, nominated by Sarah McKinney
Andrew Burciu from Ronald Reagan, nominated by Paul Hicks
Ty Causby from Patton, nominated by Dennis Brittain
Torrence Clark from Greene Central, nominated by Charles Harris
Raya Coley from Millbrook, nominated by Chris East
Travis Ferguson from North Wilkes, nominated by Michael Greene
Parker Greene from West Rowan, nominated by Todd Bell
Ashley Hawkins from North Iredell, nominated by Robert Thompson
Hannah Jennings from Madison, nominated by Jamie Pate
Preslyn Johnson from Cape Fear, nominated by Matt McLean
Rachel Kapiko from Topsail, nominated by Barry West
Drake Liles from North Iredell, nominated by Robert Thompson
Richard Lopez-Hernandez from Franklinton, nominated by Jeremy Crawford
Brandon Massey from C.E. Jordan, nominated by Rob McLamb
Christopher Matthews from Cape Fear, nominated by Matt McLean
Paul Miller from Greene Central, nominated by Allen Wooten
Michael Mull from East Rutherford, nominated by Clint Bland
John Payne from West Iredell, nominated by Mickey Jordan
Chloe Riley from High Point Central, nominated by Daniel Villa
Kassie Robakiewicz from Northern Guilford, nominated by Kim Furlough
Maddie Ruffing from C.E. Jordan, nominated by Mary Bailey
Leanna Sherrill from West Iredell, nominated by Mickey Jordan
Ty Snelson from Madison, nominated by Jamie Pate
Parker Spesock from High Point Central, nominated by Daniel Villa
Mirabella Valdiviezo from Asheville, nominated by Pamela Washington and Lance Abernathy
Benjamin Ward from John A. Holmes, nominated by Wes Mattera
Owen White from Jesse Carson, nominated by Todd Bell
Lauren Wright from A.C. Reynolds, nominated by Ashley Green
Victoria Young from North Wilkes, nominated by Michael Green