North Carolina High School Athletic Association

NCHSAA Names Exemplary School, Sportsmanship Winners


CHAPEL HILL – Two new major awards were presented to schools at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Annual Meeting at the Smith Center on the University of North Carolina campus last week.

Watauga High School was named the second annual winner of the Exemplary School Award while Asheboro High School earned the 2008 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 received 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.

Watauga is recognized as a North Carolina School of Distinction and is consistently ranked among the top in state Scholastic Aptitude Testing scores.

The Pioneers have won the Northwestern 4-A Wachovia Conference Cup nine of the past 11 years and fields 33 different teams in 22 different sports. Already the school has won league titles in football, volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s cross country and men’s soccer this year. Veteran track and cross country coach Randy McDonough, has produced 68 conference championship teams and 10 NCHSAA state championship teams.

The women’s soccer program has won 16 conference championships since 1993 but has also won an NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete team award for nine consecutive years. More than that, though many of the Watauga athletic programs are involved in community service, including several that conduct free clinics for youngsters.

The sportsmanship honor is designed to recognize a school that has been ejection free, has a plan to promote and implement good sportsmanship, is welcoming to visiting fans, makes appropriate accommodations for officials and their own fans demonstrate good sportsmanship.

Asheboro has made treating the visiting fans and teams a major priority. The booster club assists with the hospitality that is provided to visitors, and the school is continuing a streak of ejection free years.

Plans are for the Asheboro coaching staff to undergo the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) coaching education next month, and the school also has a meeting in the spring for all prospective student athletes and parents, in addition to the mandatory pre season meetings, where the appropriate behavior expected of the school’s athletes is discussed.

The process of selection for both the awards is a multi-tiered one, including nominations and feedback from schools to select finalists, and then the finalists submitted applications with specific information relative to their potential award.

Greenville’s J.H. Rose won the inaugural Exemplary School award and North Duplin was last year’s Sportsmanship winner.