State Award Winners To Be Honored At Annual Meeting

            CHAPEL HILL — Coaches, administrators and media representatives will be among those receiving awards next Thursday when the North Carolina High School Athletic Association holds its 2011 Annual Meeting.

       The event is scheduled for the Dean E. Smith Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the day after the spring meeting of the NCHSAA’s Board of Directors has concluded.

       The Association annually presents these statewide awards in several different categories, all based on those “who have done the most for high school athletics” rather than a single accomplishment or having an outstanding won-loss record.

The awards are named in memory or in honor of outstanding individuals in each category, five of whom are current members of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame. The state winners for 2011 include:

Doris Howard Female Coach of the Year: Dee Hardy of E.E. Smith in Fayetteville has spent her entire athletic career in the Cape Fear region. She was a three-sport high school star at E.E. Smith and a college standout at UNC-Pembroke in both volleyball and basketball, where she scored 1,554 career points. She returned to coach at her high school alma mater and has been successful for over 20 years, coaching both women’s basketball and volleyball. She has coached in the North Carolina Coaches Association basketball game in Greensboro as well as the Carolinas All-Star Basketball Classic between North Carolina and South Carolina. She is a member of the Fayetteville Sports Club Hall of Fame as well as the UNC-Pembroke Hall of Fame.

       Harvey Reid Male Coach of the Year: Johnny Sowell of Monroe has been at his high school for 20 years after a brilliant athletic career there. Sowell has been an administrative assistant at Monroe High for the past seven years, and prior to that he was attendance counselor.  He graduated from Monroe in 1981, where he was a member of the team that won the state championship in basketball during the 1979-80 season and twice was named Union County Player of the Year in football. He has coached football, basketball and track during his tenure at Monroe, including serving 17 years as head men’s basketball coach and winning the 2010 NCHSAA state 1-A basketball championship. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in criminal justice in 1985.

• Dave Harris Athletic Director of the Year: Leigh Hebbard of the Guilford County schools attended Roanoke High and graduated in 1981. He graduated from East Carolina in 1986 with a degree in health and physical education. While at ECU, he also completed the sports medicine curriculum and his experiences included an internship with the New York Giants in the summer of 1985. He began his career in education in 1987 as a teacher and athletic trainer at High Point Andrews and moved to a similar role at Eastern Guilford in 1993. In June of 1994 he was selected as athletic director at Eastern Guilford and remained in that position until filling an assistant principal vacancy at Eastern Guilford in January of 2006 and is now director of activities, athletics and drivers’ education for Guilford County.  He has also served as director for the NCHSAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament for a number of years.

• Bob Deaton Principal of the Year: Page Carver of Gastonia Ashbrook is principal at the Gaston County school and also a member of the NCHSAA Board of Directors. A 1974 graduate of Ashbrook, she became principal at her high school alma mater in 2001 after serving 16 years in the classroom and then working as an administrator at both Grier Middle and McAdenville Elementary in Gaston County.  She received her undergraduate degree in special education from Appalachian State University, with her masters in special education and an EDS in administration and supervision from Winthrop University. She also serves as chairperson on the Gaston County American Red Cross Board of Directors. 

• Bob McRae Superintendent of the Year:  CONTACT _Con-3F785A58268 RIck McMahon of Nash-Rocky Mount has enjoyed a great career in education of 35 years. He is a former varsity baseball coach and athletic director at Southern Nash High School who then served as a principal for 15 years in the Nash-Rocky Mount system. He served a stint as the county athletic director for Wilson County schools and is currently the superintendent of the Nash-Rocky Mount school system. He has served in a number of capacities with the NCHSAA, including a stint on the realignment committee.

• Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year: Mike London of the Salisbury Post is a veteran sports writer at an award-winning media outlet which includes extensive game coverage, notebooks and features on high school athletics. A graduate of A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis and the University of North Carolina, London has been at the Post since May of 1997 and has won several North Carolina Press Association awards.  Since 2000, high school teams in Rowan County have won 27 state championships and Mike has reported on most of them.

• Elton Hawley Athletic Trainer of the Year: Shannon Poole of Millbrook has been the head athletic trainer at the Raleigh school for nine years after a stint at N.C. State and is a Board Certified Athletic Trainer, licensed in North Carolina. She has created a highly successful sports medicine student assistant program at Millbrook and several former students have pursued careers in this area. She was the team trainer for the North Carolina team in the 2010 Shrine Bowl and serves as an adjunct instructor at Campbell University’s RTP campus. Poole is a graduate of Appalachian State University and earned her master’s in kinesiology at Penn State.


       In terms of background of the award’s names, here are some highlights:

       Doris Howard of Fayetteville was one of the state’s most successful female coaches during a 41-year career at Hope Mills, Central and Cape Fear High Schools, winning 533 games in basketball, and is in the NCHSAA Hall of Fame.

Harvey Reid, also an NCHSAA Hall of Famer, is the state’s all-time winningest basketball coach with over 800 victories, most of which came at Wilson Fike.

Dave Harris was the athletic director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools from 1967 to ‘91 after an excellent football coaching career, primarily at Harding. He was a charter member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame.

Bob Deaton was one of the state’s outstanding high school principals during a long career in education, primarily at Winston-Salem R.J. Reynolds, and was president of the NCHSAA in 1977-78.

Bob McRae is the former superintendent in Randolph County after a long career at Kings Mountain and was president of the NCHSAA in 1997-98. He has served as chair of the Realignment Committee as well as in other NCHSAA capacities.

Tim Stevens is the long time prep sports editor at the Raleigh News and Observer and has been recognized nationally for his work covering high school athletics.

Elton Hawley is a native of Dunn who for many years was the athletic training coordinator for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. He was the initial inductee into the North Carolina Athletic Trainer Association Hall of Fame.