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Weddington High School wins Exemplary School Award

Mack Morris, Head of NC Coaches Association; Carole Alley, Athletic Director; Brad Breedlove, Principal; Jerry McGee, Head of the NC Athletic Directors Association

Two major awards were presented to schools at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Annual Meeting on May 3 at the Smith Center on the University of North Carolina campus.

Weddington High School is the sixth annual winner of the Exemplary School Award while Perquimans High School is the winner of the 2012 Sportsmanship Award.

The awards are given as a cooperative venture among the NCHSAA, the North Carolina Coaches Association and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association. In addition to a trophy and a banner for display at the respective schools, each school receives a $1000 cash award.

The Exemplary School Award recognizes the top overall school in the state in terms of the “total program,” including but not limited to athletic success, scope of athletic opportunities offered, facilities, community interest and involvement, academics and the like.

Weddington, in Union County, has been an Honor School of Excellence in the last three years and was recognized by Newsweek Magazine among the top high schools in America. The school had every one of its varsity teams during the fall and winter seasons of this academic year earn AAA Scholar-Athlete honors, and all Weddington teams earned team awards last year.

The school offers 24 sports and 36 different teams, and actually recognizes its own all-academic athletic team at the school. Many of the teams are involved in community service projects, including Serve for the Cure, Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity and a book drive that collected over 3,000 books for a local elementary school. In terms of its facilities, Weddington has recently resurfaced its track and tennis courts, was awarded a $5,000 grant from Home Depot to be used on the softball field, and has had Eagle Scout projects completed on campus to enhance the athletic complex.

The sportsmanship honor is designed to recognize a school that has been ejection free, has a plan to promote and implement good sportsmanship, is welcoming to visiting fans, makes appropriate accommodations for officials and their own fans demonstrate good sportsmanship.

Perquimans has long promoted sportsmanship and has been ejection free for over three years. Perquimans student-athletes and coaches have been involved in the Student Athlete Summer Institutes for many years as well as attending the Coach-Captain Retreats, part of the NCHSAA student services program, where many sportsmanship initiatives have been addressed.

This year a sportsmanship public address announcement was developed and then read before every Perquimans home sporting event, which was very well received by spectators from both competing schools and game officials. The school also makes it a point for its coaches to emphasize the positive values of sportsmanship during practice as well as contests. Michael Horwat, athletic director at Perquimans, says that the goal is to make "to continue to make Perquimans a respectful and distinguished school when it comes to sportsmanship."

The process of selection for both the awards is a multi-tiered one, including nominations and feedback from schools to select finalists, and then the finalists submitted applications with specific information relative to their potential award.

"Weddington and Perquimans have set themselves apart during the 2011-12 academic year by earning these prestigious honors," said Davis Whitfield, NCHSAA commissioner. "We applaud their commitments in the areas of sportsmanship and overall excellence."

Greenville Rose won the inaugural Exemplary School award in 2007 while North Duplin was the Sportsmanship winner. In 2008, Watauga took the Exemplary School while Asheboro earned the Sportsmanship honor, and in 2009 Fayetteville Jack Britt was the Exemplary School with Hendersonville winning the Sportsmanship award. The 2010 winners were Charlotte Myers Park for the Exemplary School and Raleigh Sanderson for Sportsmanship, and last year Salisbury captured the Exemplary award while South Lenoir was the Sportsmanship winner. 

Written by: Rick Strunk, Associate Commissioner of Communications, NCHSAA
Posted: May 08, 2012 by Cheryl Edwards

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