Salisbury, South Lenoir Earn Major Awards

SALISBURY, SOUTH LENOIR RECOGNIZED

       CHAPEL HILL – Two major awards will be presented to schools at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Annual Meeting on May 5 at the Smith Center on the University of North Carolina campus.

       Salisbury High School is the fifth annual winner of the Exemplary School Award while South Lenoir High School is the winner of the 2011 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.

       Salisbury is the defending Wachovia Cup champion among 2-A schools and has won the crown for overall sports excellence in the state five times, with Hornet teams having already earned three NCHSAA state titles this year. The school has averaged having 13 teams earn Scholar-Athlete honors annually over the past five years and two Salisbury squads earned the highest grade point average in the state in their respective sports during the fall and winter sports seasons.

       Salisbury has twice been a "School of Distinction" since the state ABC testing program began, the last time in 2010, and Newsweek has recognized the school as one of the "Best High Schools in America" during the past four years. In addition, a four-venue athletic complex has been built on the Salisbury campus in the last several years, including a softball facility in 2008.

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.

       South Lenoir has long promoted sportsmanship and has been ejection free for nearly six years. The school has developed its own contract that must be signed by parents and athletes before they can participate which goes beyond the NCHSAA pledge. The school also sets as a goal a good "South Lenoir experience" for visiting teams and fans, ranging from how visitors are greeted to directions for things on campus.

South Lenoir student-athletes and coaches have been involved in the Student Athlete Summer Institutes for 15 years and its active chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has the promotion of sportsmanship as one of the goals of the organization, to which a vast majority of South Lenoir athletes belong.

       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.

       "Salisbury and South Lenoir have set themselves apart during the 2010-11 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.

       Last year's winners were Charlotte Myers Park for the Exemplary School and Raleigh Sanderson for Sportsmanship.