NCHSAA Athletes of the Year Named at Annual Meeting (1995-96)

CHAPEL HILL--- The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) has named Shea Ralph of Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville and Titcus (pronounced Tee-cus) Pettigrew of West Forsyth High School as winners of the 1996 NCHSAA Athlete of the Year awards.

These are the top athletic awards given by the NCHSAA to honor the most outstanding male and female high school athletes in the state. They were presented at the Dean Smith Center on the University of North Carolina campus during the NCHSAA's Annual Meeting.

Both Ralph and Pettigrew were nominated and selected by a special panel of media representatives from across the state. They were each presented with the Pat Best Memorial Trophy, named for the former Goldsboro High principal and president of the NCHSAA who died unexpectedly in 1988. A record number of nominations was received for both the men's and women's awards.

"We congratulate these fine student-athletes on their great achievements during their high school careers," said Charlie Adams, executive director of the NCHSAA. "Both Titcus and Shea have tremendously impressive credentials along the lines of the previous outstanding winners of this award. We certainly wish them the best in the future."

Shea Ralph is one of the best women's basketball players North Carolina has ever produced, but she has lettered in four sports during her prep career, including track, cross-country and soccer. She is a two-year soccer starter and earned all-Mid South Conference honors in cross-country.

She is a two-time Parade high school All-American in basketball, earning first team honors in '96, and the only player (male or female) in five-player basketball history in the state to have consecutive 1,000-point seasons. She has 17 current state basketball records, which include some phenomenal numbers: 39.1 points per game as a junior, a 71.6 percent shooting percentage from the floor as a junior, 18 assists in one game and 37 points in one half, to name only a few.

A National Honor Society member, she won the 1995 Dial Award, a national honor given to the best female scholar-athlete in the country. She is the Gatorade South Region Basketball Player of the Year and a finalist for the Naismith Award who signed a basketball grant-in-aid with 1995 NCAA women's champion University of Connecticut.

Titcus Pettigrew has excelled in football, basketball and track during his prep career at West. In fact, he earned Central Piedmont Conference Player of the Year honors in both football and basketball and was his team's Most Valuable Player in both sports. He was rated by some publications as the top wide receiver in the nation and was the Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year in North Carolina for football. He was third in balloting for USA Today's national player of the year award.

A Shrine Bowl and East-West all-star game nominee in football, Pettigrew also had a great basketball year as a senior, earning Most Valuable Player honors in the Western Regional tournament as West posted a brilliant 25-3 mark. In track and field, he participates in the 100, long jump and triple jump as well as on the 800 meter relay team. He has run an 11.1 in the 100 meters and jumped almost 20 feet in the long jump. He is heading to Penn State University on a football grant-in-aid.

Contact: Rick Strunk (919-962-2345)