CHAPEL HILL, NC – The NCHSAA is pleased to announce the latest additions to our esteemed Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). This council serves as a bridge between student-athletes and sport administrators, providing valuable insights to enhance the overall student-athlete experience and foster an inclusive athletic community throughout the entire state of North Carolina.
We are proud to introduce the following outstanding student-athletes who have been selected to join the 2023-24 NCHSAA SAAC:
From Region 1…
Coley Drew, Junior – Perquimans County High School
Coley is a three sport student-athlete participating on the Baseball, Basketball, and Football teams for the Pirates. He is a member of many clubs, including the beta club, FCA, vice president for SGA, and as a Fields of Faith speaker. Coley is passionate about sports and the importance they have in the community.
From Region 2…
Evan Gillespie, Junior – Clinton High School
Evan is a three sport student-athlete participating on the Basketball, Cross Country, and Soccer teams for the Dark Horses. She is a member of many clubs such as student government, DECA, FCA, and the Be Nice Club. She also plays the flute in concert band. Evan is passionate about bridging the gap in gender inequality in athletics and inspiring women in sport.
Olivia White, Junior – Pender High School
Olivia is a three-sport student-athlete, participating on the Basketball, Soccer, and Volleyball teams for the Patriots. She is an active member of JROTC serving as a squad and team leader, a platoon leader, and a platoon sergeant. Olivia is passionate about mental health in teenagers. She is working towards eliminating the stigma surrounding this topic, as well as focusing her energy on suicide prevention.
From Region 3…
Brij Bhatt, Junior – Green Hope High School
Brij is a member of the Cross Country and Tennis teams for the Falcons. He is a member of the Rotary Interact Club, Biotechnology Club, and Astronomy Club, while also co-founding and serving as vice president of the American Heart Association Club. Brij is passionate about health and safety, spreading the word about maintaining pristine health and working to prevent illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
Susannah Piatek, Junior – Cleveland High School
Susannah is a member of the Cheerleading, Track & Field, and Women’s Wrestling teams for the Rams. She is an officer for student council and FFA and helps out with cheer camps for kids. Susannah is passionate about bridging the gender gap in athletics and hopes to motivate more girls to participate on sports teams at their school.
Mina Cayli, Junior – Triangle Math and Science Academy
Mina is a member of the Basketball and Cross Country teams for the Tigers. She is founder and president of two clubs at her school, Reading Buddies and UNICEF, while also participating in DECA, HOSA, and Model UN. Mina is passionate about raising awareness of academic disparity and how it impacts our communities.
From Region 4…
Lillian Cross, Junior – Gray’s Creek High School
Lillian is a member of the Cheerleading and Soccer teams for the Bears. She is a student government representative, devotes time to instructing younger cheerleaders, and often works alongside a non-profit organization to distribute items to those in need. Lillian is passionate about sportsmanship and promoting healthy communication to inspire others.
Briana St. Louis, Junior – Union Pines High School
Briana is a member of the Soccer, Indoor, and Outdoor Track & Field teams for the Vikings. She participates in the Student 2 Student club, often volunteers at school and youth games, and assists with the Special Olympics in her county. Briana is passionate about guiding middle school female athletes to develop confident versions of themselves in preparation for the transition into high school.
From Region 5…
Alice Neelon, Junior – R.J. Reynolds High School
Alice is a member of the Cross Country, Soccer, and Dance teams for the Demons. She is active in many school clubs associated with Diversity and Inclusivity, Community Service, Rotary, the Ronald McDonald House, and organizes the annual RJR powderpuff game. Alice is passionate about mental health and combating the stigma surrounding it, especially for young student-athletes. No student-athlete should be scrutinized for putting their own mental and physical well-being first.
Kyle Stinson, Junior – Seaforth High School
Kyle is a member of the Tennis team and serves as the Hawks’ Mascot during basketball and football games. He is a student government liaison mentor, HOSA treasurer, and volunteers with the Red Cross, United Way, and Special Olympics. Kyle is passionate about developing young leaders and has helped implement and teaches student leadership programs in local elementary and middle schools.
Makayla Thompson, Senior – Eastern Alamance High School
Makayla is a member of the Basketball and Track & Field teams for the Eagles, serving as a Basketball Team Captain. She is a tutor for elementary, middle, and high school students and serves as a Youth Usher at her church. Makayla is passionate about leadership and helping others by using her skills to assist people with self-growth, setting goals, and becoming the best version of themselves in everything they do.
From Region 6…
Mark (“Marco”) Zamudio, Junior – Hough High School
Marco is a member of the Tennis team for the Huskies. He is active in many clubs such as Sources of Strength, Huskies Against Hate, Model UN, Film Club, Key Club, UNICEF, Unified, and the Hough Athletic Leadership Organization, and serves as treasurer for the CMS SAAC. Marco is passionate about leadership and learning and works to lead school initiatives such as being an EOS (Equal Opportunity Schools) ambassador and advocating for the best educational experience possible.
Natalie Dominguez, Senior – Charlotte Catholic High School
Natalie is a co-captain of the Softball team for the Cougars. She is a member of the CCHS Cougars Rising (SAAC) program, the Levine Buddies Club (visiting patients at the Levine Children’s Hospital), and consistently volunteers at her church, a mobile food bank, and tutors Spanish. Natalie is passionate about mental well-being and teaching the skills necessary to build a strong foundation of self-confidence.
From Region 8…
Gracie Rinker, Junior – Tuscola High School
Gracie participates on the Indoor Track and Soccer teams for the Mountaineers. She is a member of Spirit Club, FCA, student government, and consistently dedicates her time to volunteering in her community at nursing homes, her church’s children’s nursery, and at Lake Junaluska. Gracie is passionate about raising awareness of sexual assault and providing the necessary resources to help ensure high school students feel safe in their community.