CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced the selection of Cape Fear High School in Cumberland County as the 2017-18 winner of the NCHSAA’s prestigious Exemplary School Award.

The Exemplary School Award is given as a cooperative venture between the NCHSAA, the North Carolina Coaches Association and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association. In addition to a banner for display, the school receives a $1,000 cash award. The 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. 

The Award was revamped this year to include measurements of commitment to participation in NCHSAA programs and opportunities, the school’s sportsmanship profile, as well as professional development of coaches and administrators.

Cape Fear received high marks for the number of AIC and CIC Certified Coaches on staff, as well as administrators with CAA Certification. The school also participated in a high number of NCHSAA Special Programs including DREAM Team, Student Athlete Summer Institute programs, and the annual Student Leadership Conference. The Colts have also garnered success on the field in football and softball the past few years, winning regional championships at the 4A level last season.

Commissioner Que Tucker said, “It is a high honor to be selected as the top overall program in the State and receive the Exemplary School Award. Cape Fear High School is truly a deserving recipient. They have demonstrated a commitment to education and excellence that is second-to-none among their peers in North Carolina.” She added, “Athletic Director Matt McLean and his staff are truly leading the way in student engagement and achievement. We are very proud of their hard work and dedication to education-based athletics and the Association.”

The Exemplary School Award was presented at the NCHSAA’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.