A total of 35 student-athletes from North Carolina High School Athletic Association member schools will be honored for their outstanding sportsmanship as winners of the “Heart of a Champion” Award recognition, including a Clinton High School standout.
Kayla Yang, from Clinton, was among the recipients. She was nominated by CHS Athletic Director Brad Spell.
The sportsmanship recognition is part of the program offered by the NCHSAA Student Services Division. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there will not be a luncheon this year. However, the award winners will be honored through the NCHSAA’s social media and online platforms in addition to receiving the awards. These awards are sponsored by NC Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company. Mark Dreibelbis, NCHSAA Associate Commissioner, and Director of Student Programs and Sports, 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 2019-2020 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.
“We are thankful for the North Carolina Farm Bureau’s continued partnership with us and appreciate their support to honor the outstanding character of these athletes,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. “We are honored to recognize this group of 35 student athletes that have consistently demonstrated the values and traits that we hope all student athletes learn through our programs. Now more than ever, our society is in need of young people like this group of award winners that are dedicated to excellence in sportsmanship and citizenship.”
This year’s other North Carolina Farm Bureau “Heart of a Champion” Award recipients are:
• Jayden Adams from Knightdale, nominated by Alex VonHoene.
• James Alexander from R-S Central, nominated by Tim Phillips.
• Jose Luis Alamanza from High Point Central, nominated by Daniel Villa.
• Maxwell Blackledge from West Rowan, nominated by Todd Bell.
• Reanna Braswell from Princeton, nominated by Don Andrews.
• Brooke Byrd from Watauga, nominated by Dustin Kerley.
• Alexandra Chapman from Person, nominated by Jeremy Clayton.
• Maci Cooper from Jesse Carson, nominated by Rebecca Shopf.
• Hinton Cox from Princeton, nominated by Don Andrews.
• Jacob Craver from Starmount, nominated by Scott Johnson.
• Lilly Ensley from Pisgah, nominated by Heidi Morgan.
• Emma Freed from Starmount, nominated by Nicole Pardue.
• Dylan Gray from Cape Hatteras, nominated by Clayton Tiderman.
• Keaton Hincher from North Wilkes, nominated by Michael Greene.
• Liyah Jones from Mallard Creek, nominated by Amy Foster.
• Brendan Lawson from Swansboro, nominated by Helen Gross.
• Hanna Malik from Athens Drive, nominated by Allyson Stephenson.
• Elizabeth Martin from North Wilkes, nominated by Michael Greene.
• Colby McHargue from West Iredell, nominated by Mickey Jordan.
• Lanie Ouzts from Bartlett Yancey, nominated by Lynn Massey.
• Olivia Perez from High Point Central, nominated by Daniel Villa.
• Consonna Pitts from Knightdale, nominated by Alex Von Hoene.
• Madalyn Radford from Greene Central, nominated by David Bryant.
• Nicole Rhyne from West Iredell, nominated by Mickey Jordan.
• Anna Beth Scalise from Marvin Ridge, nominated by Melissa Pierce.
• Aniya Simmons from Pamlico County, nominated by April Rose.
• Joshua Smith from Bartlett Yancey, nominated by Lynn Massey.
• Sydney Spear from John A. Holmes, nominated by Wes Mattera.
• Christian Spurlock from Ledford, nominated by Donald Palmer.
• Perry Tingen from Greene Central, nominated by David Bryant.
• Tylyia Triggs from Neuse Charter, nominated by Melody McGee.
• Jacob Watson from Watauga, nominated by Dustin Kerley.
• Kennedy Grace White from Starmount, nominated by Nicole Pardue.
• Ryan White from John A. Holmes, nominated by Wes Mattera.