CHAPEL HILL— The North Carolina High School Athletic Association officially began the celebration of its 100th anniversary with a special kickoff celebration on Saturday.
The event was held at The Friday Center in Chapel Hill, and visitors came from all across the state.
Several speakers were part of the program. Two of the state’s outstanding coaches, Michael Gainey at Rocky Mount and former West Henderson coach Jan Stanley, now in the NCHSAA Hall of Fame, talked about their experiences in coaching and the value they had derived from working with the NCHSAA.
Two corporate sponsors addressed working with the Association from their perspective, including Lawrence Braxton of American Advantage and Chris Smith of the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation. Smith talked about his grandfather, the late Wilburn C. Clary, who is a member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame.
Current NCHSAA president Dr. Stewart Hobbs related how high school athletics had shaped him and executive director emeritus Charlie Adams reflected on the history of the organization.
NCHSAA commissioner Davis Whitfield talked about the tag line highlighting the celebration: “honoring the past, embracing the present and shaping the future.” He mentioned that a coffee table book about the NCHSAA and its history, authored by Raleigh News and Observer writer Tim Stevens, a member of the National High School Sports Hall of Fame, should be available in the spring.
Commissioner Whitfield also discussed plans for renovating the NCHSAA office building, which is 35 years old.
Former NCHSAA president Ralph Holloway, who is helping to organize some of the centennial activities, served as master of ceremonies.
An open house followed at the NCHSAA offices.
Sponsors of the kickoff event included American Advantage Marketing Group, the Chapel Hill-Orange County Visitors Bureau and the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation.
The year of festivities will end with a Gala Celebration event on January 11, 2014. During 2013, the NCHSAA has planned activities and opportunities for member schools, teams, players and fans to help celebrate the Centennial Year. A special web portal at the NCHSAA web site (www.nchsaa.org) contains a calendar of events, resources and other information for the Centennial Celebration.