CHAPEL HILL - The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) presented Dr. Charles Kernodle, Jr. from Burlington with the 2019 Russell Blunt Legends Award on May 2, 2019 at the Association's Annual Meeting at the Dean E. Smith Center. The award first given in the 1992-93 academic year, this honors an individual who has spent a lifetime in support of the values of high school athletics. It is not necessarily given every year and goes to a select few who truly can be classified as “legends” in the annals of North Carolina.
Dr. Kernodle graduated from Elon in 1938 and then from Duke Medical School in 1942. He was a World War 2 Army Captain – Chief of Surgeons for Battle of the Bulge soldiers. Closer to home, Kernodle is well-known and beloved in Burlington for his service as the team doctor for the Williams High School Football team from 1949 up unto the present, some 69 years. In fact, he still rides the team bus to away games on Friday nights.
Dr. Charles, as he is known by the team and school community, is the founder of the Kernodle Clinic in Burlington and initiated free athletic physicals for Elon University and Williams High School, with the clinic now providing free physicals for all Alamance County High School and Middle School athletes. He has been given Alamance-Burlington Schools Distinguished Service in Sports Award in 2011, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2014, and granted a lifetime membership and service award by the North Carolina Football Coaches Association. Truly a legend in his community, the Williams High School Football Field was named in his honor in 2007.
The Russell E. Blunt Legend Award is named for the long-time Durham Hillside track coach who is in the NCHSAA Hall of Fame and one of three North Carolinians in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame. At one time he was the oldest active coach in America, guiding his teams well into his 80’s.