North Carolina High School Athletic Association


The mission of the NCHSAA is to provide governance and leadership for interscholastic athletic programs that support and enrich students’ educational experiences. In keeping with that mission, the NCHSAA offers many award and recognition programs that highlight our members’ outstanding performances.

  • Athlete of the Year
    The top athletic award that any athlete in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association can earn. | Deadline: May 17
  • Gatorade State Player of the Year
    The Gatorade State Player of the Year award winners are evaluated and selected on the basis of three criteria:
    1) Athletic Excellence – Standout performance in their respective sport made at the high school, club, national or international levels of competition.
    2) Academic Achievement – Review of GPA and class rank, as well as SAT and ACT scores, and academic honors distinctions.
    3)Exemplary Character – Commitment to sportsmanship, character and community through membership and participation in positive activities.
    One Winner from is selected from each of the twelve sports chosen by Gatorade!! These 12 sports include: Baseball, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Cross Country, Women’s Cross County, Football, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer, Softball, Men’s Track and Field, Women’s Track and Field and Volleyball.
  • Performance of the Week powered by OrthoCarolina
    Each week throughout the year, the NCHSAA, with the help of a special selection committee, will select a male and female athlete based on their athletic performance from the preceding week. Nominations can be made by coaches, school administrators, or members of the media. OrthoCarolina powers this platform.
  • Student Program Awards
    Awards sponsored by NCHSAA Student Programs for student-athletes.
    • Heart of a Champion | Deadline: May 1
    • Spirit of Sport | Deadline: February 1
  • Commissioner’s Trophy powered by Truist | Closed
  • Ejection-Free Recognition
  • Exemplary School Award | Closed
  • Scholar-Athlete Award
    This program recognizes excellence in the classroom and on the playing court or field. The program includes recognizing varsity teams that attain specific grades and individual athletes. Forms should be submitted by a school administrator via DragonFly. | Fall/Winter Deadline: March 15 | Spring Deadline: July 15
  • Wells Fargo Cup
    The Wells Fargo State Cup award symbolizes overall sports excellence among high schools in North Carolina. Since 1979, the State Cup has been awarded to the schools that have the best overall interscholastic sports programs in each of the four classifications. A companion to the statewide Wells Fargo State Cup, the Conference Cup is based on regular season performances within conference play and is designed to recognize the best interscholastic athletic performance within each of the NCHSAA’s conferences

Homer Thompson Memorial “Eight Who Make A Difference” Award
This award recognizes eight coaches who exemplify good sportsmanship and are positive student-athlete role models.

The NCHSAA Foundation was established in May 2023 as a 501C3 non-profit corporation to serve and protect the integrity of high school sports and related activities in North Carolina for NCHSAA member high schools by providing funding opportunities for grants, scholarships, and program support to benefit students, coaches, administrators, and officials engaged in those sports and activities.

Also see: Grants, Scholarships