North Carolina High School Athletic Association

2022-2023 Commissioner’s Cup Recipients

The Green Level High School Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) is comprised of team leaders from all their sports programs; these leaders organize events and encourage and communicate with their teams to ensure all teams are recognized in their community service outreach. During the 2022-2023 school year, Green Level’s SALT organized and participated in six different community service projects, including a partnership with White Oak Elementary, Adopt-A-Highway, a Teddy Bear Toss, a Canned Food Drive, a Student-Staff Basketball Game, and Gator Self Awareness Day: Unified Sports Clinics. The highlighted event was the Gator Self Awareness Day: Unified Sports Clinics through which GLHS celebrated the uniqueness of their school community by providing mini clinics for students with special needs. On this day, student-athletes taught different skills and played one-on-one with students to best fit their needs. There were 35 student-athletes who were involved in this event and served 12 students from the school’s special needs program. A note from Green Level’s SALT – “The number of smiles was the biggest community impact for us. Often times, this group of students can be forgotten about or not included in school events. We enjoyed working with this group of students. The teachers and teaching assistants for these classes raved about how much fun the students had and how it was nice for all parties involved to see a different side of school.”

The Alexander Central High School Cheerleading Program organized and executed an ongoing gift exchange with a local kindergarten class during the 2022-2023 school year. The entire cheer program of 40 people also built and installed a “Blessing Box” at their high school and provided the first round of products. The goal of the Blessing Box is to provide free hygiene products like toothbrushes, hairbrushes, toothpaste, cleanliness items, feminine hygiene products, etc. Often the need for hygiene products is a complex topic to discuss openly; students could be embarrassed to ask for the items from peers or school personnel, but this provides a safe place for students to receive necessary items at no cost. These items could also be difficult to obtain due to monetary issues, or an emergency need at school.

The Louisburg High School Men’s Varsity and JV Basketball Teams participated in multiple community service projects during the 2022-2023 school year. The highlighted project was “Mini Warriors,” aimed at serving local 3rd to 5th grade boys. From January 7 to February 4, these boys attended Saturday clinics at the LHS gym, culminating on February 7 with Mini Warrior Night during a home basketball game. This event allowed the Mini Warriors to showcase their skills during halftime of the varsity games and brought the community together. Approximately 40 young students benefited from the program, while 20 varsity and JV basketball players actively participated, fostering values like teamwork, perseverance, and discipline. The project had a positive impact on the community by promoting commitment, building relationships between high school players and elementary students, and attracting individuals who may not typically attend high school events.

For a decade, the Southwest Guilford High School Varsity Men’s Lacrosse Team has actively participated in the Stick It To Hunger Food Drive and Lacrosse Tournament organized by Tom Brawner of the Triad Blackhawks. This year, the team engaged in various activities such as distributing flyers, collecting food and monetary donations, as well as shopping for food to donate. Their collective efforts resulted in an impressive four tons of non-perishable food items gathered, largely contributing to the overall tournament accumulation of 11 tons of non-perishable food items. Remarkably, the SWGHS Men’s Lacrosse Team secured the title for the eighth consecutive year, boasting the highest quantity of food collected. In recognition of their accomplishment, Coach Brawner offered to donate the $500 entry fee back to the SWGHS Men’s Lacrosse Team. However, the team altruistically decided to utilize the funds to support a local food charity in their community. They selected the Jamestown Presbyterian Church’s Outreach and, together with Coach Brawner’s additional contribution of $2,500, they were able to help fund and pack breakfast items for Feeding Lisa’s Kids through the Outreach. Through this initiative, they directly served 150 families within their community, providing support and sustenance. The team expressed immense satisfaction in knowing that their endeavors would have a direct and positive impact on local families in need.

The Franklin High School Student Leadership Program is comprised of many student leaders and student-athletes from the various sports programs. During the 2022-2023 school year, Franklin’s Student Leadership Program engaged in various community service projects, including hosting appreciation events for coaches, faculty, and staff, organizing pep rallies, assisting other schools in establishing leadership programs, advocating for all sports, clubs, and activities, conducting a food drive, creating and presenting the “Tireless Teacher Award,” and hosting FHS Unify Events for Soccer and Basketball. The highlighted event was Unify March Madness by which FHS hosted a basketball showcase for persons with disabilities who were helped to learn the game by student-athletes in the weeks leading up to the event. A note from Franklin’s Student Leadership Program – “The impact on the community is truly something special. What began as something that the special needs students look forward to every year has grown into something where the entire community looks forward to it.” Additionally, the Franklin High School Track and Field Teams completed their own community service outreach. The indoor track and field team volunteered with (828) Veterans to help gift wrap for Toys for Tots, impacting around 250 families for Christmas. The outdoor track and field team scheduled with the Friends of The Greenway to do their Annual Spruce Up The Greenway event through which they assisted with picking up trash and cleaning/painting picnic tables.

Throughout the 2022-2023 school year, West Brunswick High School’s Men’s Basketball Team engaged in various community service projects, like assisting with Special Olympics and reading and interacting with local elementary school students. The highlighted project was their involvement with the Special Olympics in Brunswick County, in both the spring of 2022 and 2023. 16 team members participated and were able to help serve 100+ people of the community. Through their participation in Special Olympics, the basketball team was able to strengthen relationships within their community, and gained the continued support they need to help facilitate Special Olympics in Brunswick County. Furthermore, their engagement with local elementary school students through reading initiatives has the potential to inspire future generations to become Trojan Athletes at WBHS.

The T.C. Roberson High School Baseball Team participated in a plethora of community service projects during the 2022-2023 school year. These included organizing a food drive, providing meal baskets to the Progressive Education Program (PEP), sponsoring a child through Compassion Network, cleaning up athletic facilities after games, hosting the Ted E. Tourist Adapted Baseball League every Saturday for six weeks, assisting with Special Olympics, and many more. The highlighted project is the Ted E. Tourist Adapted Baseball League, organized by Asheville Parks & Recreation. Since 2014, the T.C Roberson Baseball Program has hosted this league, which features teams of players with various special needs. Each Saturday, they greeted the players, practiced with them, announced the teams, and assisted them with batting. This inclusive and energetic atmosphere has positively impacted over 75 individuals, and the baseball program at T.C. Roberson has found it incredibly rewarding to witness the growth and joy of these kids playing ball on their field. The impact of this league on both the community and baseball program is immeasurable.

The Eastern Guilford High School Cheerleading Program participated in many community service projects during the 2022-2023 school year. These included, the Eastern Guilford Stadium Beautification Day, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month initiatives, Community Sports Day at Eastern Guilford (“Wildcat Day”), reading to local elementary schools, and many more. The highlighted project was Wildcat Day at Eastern Guilford which took place in Fall of 2022. This event involved hosting youth athletes from Gibsonville and the surrounding areas, allowing them to experience a “Wildcat game day” as special guests. The youth athletes had the opportunity to interact with the football players and cheerleaders, learn about the importance of grades and hard work, and feel a connection with EGHS student-athletes. It served as a bridge between the youth and high school athletes, leaving a lasting impression of hope, support, and inspiration. This event also fosters a sense of community, reminding the EGHS senior class of their influence, and emphasized the importance of wearing your uniform with pride.

The Western Alamance High School Volleyball Team participated in several community service endeavors during the 2022-2023 school year, but the highlighted project was Princess Night during a game against Northwood High School who also participated with them. The goal of Princess Night was to honor 6 year old Lilian Blackman for Childhood Cancer Awareness month and raise money for DIPG research. They ended up raising $760 for research between the teams and community who attended the game. It takes $50 per hour of research, so they were able to give 15.2 hours of research to help go towards a cure for this terrible, inoperable, high grade, terminal brain tumor. The WAHS volleyball team wanted to show Lilian and her parents that there are people out there supporting them and contributing to beat this disease. They bought Lilian her favorite princess outfit, Tinkerbell, and had a red carpet where she was escorted by her family. Additionally, shirts were made for everyone who participated in the project, fans were encouraged to bring their kids dressed up, and all players, WAHS and NHS, dressed as princesses to dance with Lilian and make sure she had the best night ever.