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CHAPEL HILL-- Two student-athletes will be honored by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association at its 2010 Annual Meeting with the NCHSAA's A.J. "Tony" Simeon Courage Award.
Nathan Baker of Green Hope High School and Tyler Forsythe of Apex High School will be presented Courage Awards at the Smith Center on Thursday.
The Courage Awards are designed to honor individuals who, despite adversity, have demonstrated exemplary character and performance and, as a result, have been an inspiration to all those involved with the programs of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. They are named in honor of NCHSAA Hall of Famer Tony Simeon, a long-time coach at High Point Central.
Nathan Baker of Green Hope was born mostly deaf and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of nine months, When he got to high school, doctors recommended that perhaps he could practice with the cross country team, as physical activity definitely was helping improve his motor development and coordination problems.
He went from being prone to falls during his freshman year to running a time of 24:49 in his final high school race, much to the delight of his teammates who have been so supportive of him during his career.
Tyler Forsyth of Apex posted a winning record in each of his four years as a varsity wrestler, recording more than 80 victories, but he has also overcome adversity to do it. On November 23, 1995, when he was three, he was mauled and almost killed by a Bengal tiger that belonged to his father.
His skull was crushed and he lost his sight, but he has certainly battled through that adversity. Tyler is an athlete, good student--using Braille to read, for instance-- and has participated in such activities as riding a four wheeler and once he shot 10 of 10 at a skeet range.
"These individuals are truly inspirational and exemplify what is great about high school athletics," said Davis Whitfield, executive director of the NCHSAA.