Green Hope, Southern Nash Earn Major Awards For Schools

                   CHAPEL HILL – Two major awards will be presented to schools at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Annual Meeting on Thursday  at the Smith Center on the University of North Carolina campus.
                  Green Hope High School in Wake County is the ninth annual winner of the Exemplary School Award while Southern Nash High School is the winner of the 2015 Sportsmanship Award.
                  The awards are given as a cooperative venture among the NCHSAA, the North Carolina Coaches Association and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association. In addition to a trophy and a banner for display at the respective schools, each school receives a $1000 cash award.
                  The Exemplary School 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.
Since opening in 1999, Green Hope has excelled in the classroom and in athletic competition. In 2014, Green Hope was recognized as the top public high school in North Carolina by US News & World Report. Green Hope also recently received the highest School Performance Grade (SPG) among all high schools in Wake County as determined by NCDPI.
                  In the 15 years the school has been open, the school has won six Wells Fargo Conference Cups and five Wells Fargo State Cups for overall sports excellence. Approximately 1,000 student-athletes participate in sports at Green Hope every year, and this includes one of the largest and most successful cross-country programs in America.
                  In recent years, the athletic department has completed a variety of facility upgrades and has improved its relationship with local businesses and leaders in the community. Recent upgrades include a new sponsor wall and enhanced signage in the stadium and gymnasium, updated trophy cases, a new sound system in the gym, new conference championships banners, and improved safety equipment.
                  Athletic director Colin Fegeley says, “The success of our student-athletes in competition has been the result of great coaching, motivated young people, and a school community that supports all of our athletic programs.”
                 Southern Nash decided to address specifically doing a better job of showing sportsmanship to officials, the opposing teams and their fans as well as their own actions with teammates in an effort to eliminate ejections.
                 The school embarked upon a plan, the foundation of which is a slogan that Southern Nash is “all in for sportsmanship” and a 45-second sportsmanship video that highlights Southern Nash student-athletes talking about sportsmanship and providing specific examples of things they can do to show it.
                Athletic director Robbie Kennedy notes that sportsmanship is emphasized to coaches in the school’s coaches meetings and is a major focus to the parents at the required parents meetings. The school arranges for someone to meet and greet both the officials as well as the visiting team when they arrive on campus. Kennedy says, “We needed to try and go the extra mile to reinforce what we wanted our athletic department to stand for. I think we have achieved this with our video and our coaches and athletes have responded positively.”
              ”Green Hope and Southern Nash have set themselves apart during the 2014-15 academic year by earning these prestigious honors," said Davis Whitfield, NCHSAA commissioner. "We applaud their commitments in the areas of sportsmanship and overall excellence."