NCHSAA honors three longtime volunteers with 2020 Unsung Hero Awards

CHAPEL HILL - The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) selected Steve Alford, Ted Carver and Arnold Spell from Durham to honor with the Association's 2020 Unsung Hero Award. The Unsung Hero Award, given periodically by the NCHSAA, normally goes to those tremendous volunteers who work in so many different areas of a school athletic program, from public address announcer to chain crew to booster club president to team physician or many other areas. The awards are traditionally given based on nominations from member schools.

Commissioner Que Tucker said, “Each of these men truly embody the word hero in their efforts to support the NCHSAA during championship seasons. It would be impossible for us to provide the outstanding experiences our student-athletes deserve without the dedication of these three men as they serve the teams and members of the Association. We are pleased to give them just a small token of our appreciation for their continued service and passion for students.”

Steve Alford is a Durham native who graduated from Southern Durham High School in 1969. Since then, he worked for Duke Energy for 36 years, retiring in 2015. Alford remained active with high school athletics from the 1970’s until the 2000’s coaching Men’s Golf and Men’s and Women’s Basketball for his alma mater, Southern Durham. Ted Carver is a Roxboro native who graduated from Roxboro High School in 1963. He resides in Durham where he served as a paramedic from 1975 until he retired in 2005. Arnold Spell is a Durham native and Durham High School graduate from 1970. He has served as a member of the Durham Public Schools Board of Education for ten years and is past treasurer of the Durham Public Schools Scholarship Foundation. Spell is the founder and President of Allenton Management, a company he began in 1989. 

All three of these gentlemen remain actively involved in high school athletics. The trio are staples at NCHSAA Championships, serving in a variety of roles for the State Championships in Golf, Football and Basketball. Alford began helping the Association in the State Golf Championships during the 1990’s, a role he continues today, and was joined by Spell in that role in the early 2000’s. All three men have served as team hosts in the Football and Basketball State Championships since the early 2000’s, adding their expertise to insure that these championships run smoothly and teams have necessary provisions to feel at home on Championship days. In addition to the numerous ways that they serve the Association during state championships, Alford, Carver and Spell can regularly be found at Durham Public Schools athletic events, supporting local student-athletes.