North Carolina High School Athletic Association

2023-2024 Commissioner’s Trophy Presented by Truist

The Commissioner’s Trophy Awards are designed to recognize member schools’ athletic programs that do outstanding work in community service. Schools had their “team or teams” identify a need within the community and create a plan to conduct the service project. Each team had a sponsor, who was a coach, faculty member, staff member or parent. They then submitted a 1-minute video of the project to explain how the team served, the impact the project had on the community, the number of people served, theme of the project, with photos and video from the event. Winning schools each will receive a $1,000 stipend for their respective team or school athletic program.

This year, the Commissioner’s Trophy is presented in partnership with Truist. Truist’s purpose is to inspire and build better lives and communities making the company a proud supporter of the NCHSAA’s commitment to encouraging student athletes to strive to make their own communities better.

The 2023-24 Award Winners are Lake Norman High School, R.J. Reynolds High School. North Henderson High School, Franklin High School, Nash Central High School, East Burke High School, Princeton High School and Union Academy.

Lake Norman High School’s Student Sports Medicine Team which included participants from the women’s wrestling, track, softball and cheerleading teams, saw a need for automated external defibrillators or “AEDs” at the middle schools in the Iredell-Statesville School System’s athletic events. Using an organization called GotAED, the Student Medicine Team developed a communication strategy to raise funds to purchase 11 total AEDs to serve nine middle school athletic programs. The team helped deliver the AEDs and install the wall mounts.

R.J. Reynolds High School’s men’s soccer team,through a partnership with Charlotte FC, Coca-Cola and the local Special Olympics chapter, helped prepare a Carolina Unified Soccer Team for a match with Charlotte FC. Practices began in late spring ahead of the Unified game on August 13 and members of the R.J. Reynolds team and the Unified team worked together weekly to prepare. Typically 10-15 student athletes participated each week. Over the years, the Reynolds team has helped raise money for the Special Olympics but this opportunity helped them better understand what their fundraising was actually supporting.  

North Henderson High School’s volleyball team powered a Knights VS Cancer campaign this year with a focus on the theme of family. They planned and implemented several events to raise money and awareness for the fight against cancer including a Volley For A Cure match, where they sold apparel and recognized cancer survivors, VolleyBuff, a volleyball tournament for male students, and a Knights VS Cancer Festival. This year, the team raised $19,000 to help fight cancer and to support the local children’s hospital.

Franklin High School’s Cross County and Track and Field team’s participated in the CareNet Backpack Program by helping organizing, sorting, relocating and rotating food products and then packing bags to be distributed to students. The Backpack Program is designed to help students that have limited access to food at home. This program now gives out over 500 bags a week to students in Macon County.

East Burke High School’s football team has partnered with Shekinah Food Ministires this year to feed local families. The team works with Oak Ridge Baptist Church and prepares food boxes to community members in need. Each month the team packaged enough food to feed 400 families for two weeks. 

Nash Central High School’s athletic programs all work with Remote Area Medical by Ripple Effects to help provide free health care throughout the community. More than 230 student athletes helped set up a free clinic at the school that helped 190 people to receive over $57,000 in healthcare.

Princeton High School’s football team members went on a service trip to Nicaragua. Fourteen student athletes traveled to Los Brasiles, Nicaragua and helped remove earthquake damage, build a new concrete floor, purchase deliver and assemble bunk beds for children and provide rice, beans and cooking oil.

Union Academy’s varsity Cheerleading team created a service project called Cardinals Helping Cardinals that sponsors a mini food pantry on campus that provides emergency food supplies for students and their families that face food insecurity. The program helps provide 8-10 backpacks of food each week to the school’s counseling department which then distributed to those in need.

Honorable Mentions

Davie High School
Green Level High School
Athens Drive High School
Eastern Guilford High School
Franklin High School
Northwood High School
West Brunswick High School