The 50th Anniversary of the enactment of Title IX takes place today, June 23, 2022. Throughout the year, the NCHSAA and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC has celebrated Women's Athletics in North Carolina by remembering people and moments that helped pave the way for female athletes. Before the passage of Title IX, less than 300,000 girls in the US were involved in interscholastic athletics. Today, more than 3.4 million girls participate in high school athletics.
Blue Cross NC is excited to be a part of the celebration that includes NCHSAA Trailblazers and Moment's of Magnitude. We have been excited to celebrate NCHSAA Women's sports throughout the entire 2021-2022 school year! The NCHSAA requested that member schools and administrators submit 'Trailblazers and Momen's of Magnitude'. Below is a compilation of submissions received (note, incomplete submissions are not listed):
Debbie Antonelli, Student-Athlete & Broadcaster: Antonellis was a Cary High School women’s basketball standout who went on to become a North Carolina State University shooting guard under Coach Kay Yow. She has experienced a 33-year-plus career in broadcasting men’s and women’s basketball, working for ESPN, Big Ten Network, CBS, FOX, and Westwood One.
Angie Armstrong, Student-Athlete: Angie was a standout women’s basketball player at Wilson Fike High School in the late 1970’s. She was a member of the victorious East squad in the 1979 N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game, and was named the most outstanding player in their 87-82 victory. Armstrong holds the All-Star Game record in North Carolina for points scored with 33 points in 1979. Angie Armstrong went on to play collegiately at North Carolina State University where she shot 56.9 percent from the floor during her four year-career from 1980 through 1983. She also had 608 assists (4.8 per game) which puts her among the top five in ACC history.
Valerie Batta, Student-Athlete: Val is a freshman at Jordan High School, currently maintaining a 4.0 GPA. That, in and of itself, does not make her any different than many of the other female freshman at Jordan High School. What makes Val special is that she is the FIRST female to ever play on a football team for Durham Public Schools. Val approached school admin in the summer about playing football for Jordan. Although surprised, they encouraged her to begin workouts with the team. Val did not miss a practice and earned a starting position on the junior varsity team as a wide receiver and free safety. Valerie's accomplishment has been instrumental in paving a path for young high school girl's to work hard and follow their dreams. In running a drill during practice, Val found herself against one of the linebackers who has committed to play at Duke. Her role on the play was to take a step and block him so that the runner could go by. In her first attempt, she failed and he went right by her. Coach Allred called her over to talk to her and Val said, "Coach, please give me one more try." She made the adjustment that she was given, blocked the linebacker, and the runner was able to advance. Valerie has been a shining light to those around her with her grit, determination, and focus to be the best that she can be on the football field.
Coach Sheila Boles: Sheila E. Boles was raised in Fayetteville. Her interest in sports began early. She quickly became a stand out on the basketball team and was named All Conference for 4 years. Sheila attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1973 and played for UNCW’s first collegiate Women’s Basketball Team. The following year she was awarded UNCW’s first female athletic scholarship and was named Team MVP. Sheila was named at the first Women’s All-State Basketball Team and Volleyball Team. In 1977, she began her teaching and coaching career at Pender Lee Junior High School. From there she moved to Lake Forest Junior High and then to Trask Junior High School. While at Trask, Sheila first coached the boy’s basketball team. Her success earned her the position head of coach of Laney High School’s Women’s basketball team. In 1986 she led Laney HS to the State semi-finals and was selected as the mid-eastern AAAA Coach of the Year. In 1989, Hugh McManus, the principal of Hoggard High School, made an unprecedented move and hired Sheila Boles to coach the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team. This was the first time in North Carolina a woman was hired as a men’s high school basketball coach. Boles led Hoggard’s program to multiple Conference Championships and was twice selected mid-eastern AAAA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year. She helped many of her players receive scholarships to play at the college level and was a model to all of the young people who’s lives she touched. In 1999, Boles was appointed athletic director at Hoggard High School, and became the first female AD in New Hanover County. During her term, she earned many honors and distinctions. She served in the North Carolina’s Athletic Directors Association Board for 5 years, and she was named Athletic Director of the year in 2008 by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association.
Coach Glenda Campbell- Glenda Campbell was a teacher and coach at Clyde A. Erwin High School from 1964 through 1996. She was the assistant varsity women's basketball coach for 14 years, head volleyball coach for 7 years, head softball coach for 10 years, and was the sponsor of the bowling program (large number of participants) for 12 years. Coach Glenda Campbell started the first women's softball program at Erwin High School in the spring of 1973 winning conference championships in the 2nd and 3rd year of the school's program. She continued to head the softball program for the first 10 years of the program through 1982. Coach Campbell also started the first women's volleyball program at Erwin High School in the fall of 1974 and headed this program for its first 7 years through 1981. She served as the women's basketball varsity assistant coach for 14 years and headed the highly successful bowling program from 1971 through 1983 winning 3 WNC Junior Bowling Tournaments. Glenda was a strong advocate for the growth of women sports at Erwin High School and for athletic opportunities for female athletes. Just before her retirement in 1996, the Glenda Campbell Hospitality Room in the Erwin Gym was dedicated in her honor.
Coach Marsha Crump: Marsha Crump held the Head Women’s Basketball Coach position at Freedom High School in Morganton from 1970 until 2002 when she retired from coaching. During that time, Crump’s Freedom teams were a perennial force in 4A Women’s Basketball. Her teams posted a combined record of 522-122 during her tenure winning three 4A State Championships. Crump also coached tennis for a time at Freedom. Her tennis teams claimed Conference Championships each year from 1999 through 2001. She was named Associated Press State Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year in 1995 and has been inducted into the Burke County Sports Hall of Fame.
Heaven Fitch, Student-Athlete: Heaven was the first female to win one of the NCHSAA's individual state wrestling State Championships while a student at Uwharrie Charter High School.
Megan Hodge, Student-Athlete: Hodge attended Riverside High School in Durham and was considered one of the greatest high school volleyball players in the nation. She was the 2008 National High School Player of the Year. a Penn State four-time All Big 10 selection, and the 2009-2010 Honda Broderick Cup winner as nation’s top collegiate athlete.
Coach Faye Loflin: Faye Loflin taught and coached at Northwood High School for her entire 30 year teaching career. She was the school's first girls tennis coach, softball coach, and was also the first and only female athletic director at Northwood HS. Faye taught physical education for 30 years and coached softball for 27 years. During her time at Northwood HS, she served as athletic director and also coached basketball, volleyball, and tennis. Loflin was named the Teacher of the Year for the 1984-85 and 1996-97 school years. Her softball teams won five conference championships and made the playoffs seven times. “I was fortunate to coach a lot of fine young ladies who were outstanding athletes and they made me look good,” Loflin said. “My ball players (especially softball) were my family away from home. I still keep up with many of them and I’m proud of their many accomplishments.” One of her former players, Diane May Braswell said: "She's one of the people who even when we were out of high school, she attended weddings and events after we moved on. One time we traveled together to orthern Virginia for a teammate's wedding. She never let us go. Even in summer leagues, she was always there supporting us, even though she wasn't our coach during the summer. Throughout the school day we would see her in the hallway and she was always concerned with our extra curricular activities outside of school. Always checking to make sure we stayed out of trouble."
Kathy McMillan, Student-Athlete: Kathy, a student at Raeford Hoke, carries the title as the 'greatest high school female long jumper" in NC history. She holds the national record with a jump of 22 feet, 3 inches in 1976.
Coach Sherri Norris: From former Chapel Hill HS Athletic Director, Tod Morgan: "I had the pleasure of working alongside Coach Sherry Norris at Chapel Hill High School. I was the Athletic Director and Head Boys Basketball Coach. Coach Norris was the Head Girls Basketball Coach and Head Volleyball Coach. She also previously served as Head Softball Coach. Coach Norris is a true HOF Coach and Advocate for Female Athletics and opportunities for our girls through sports. She won over 700 volleyball matches and 3 state championships in volleyball, and over 500 basketball games and 2 state championships in girls basketball. She is one of the best to ever do it in our state and worthy of the many COY and HOF accolades she has received."
Melba Overcash, Student-Athlete: Overcash of Landis, NC set a basketball state scoring record with 107 points in 1946 during the era of 6-person basketball.
Marilyn Que Tucker, Student-Athlete, Coach, Administrator: In 2015, Que Tucker became the first female and first African-American to serve as North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) commissioner, which is a position she continues to hold while leading 427 member schools. A former college and high school coach, Tucker began her NCHSAA career in 1991. Prior to that, she had stints as a successful high school basketball coach and volleyball coach. She also served as an assistant coach for the North Carolina State University women’s basketball program under legendary head coach Kay Yow. Her duties included overseeing the team’s academic progress. Among Tucker's highlights as NCHSAA assistant executive director, was the creation of its student services program. Through the program, students are educated on substance abuse, leadership development, academic accountability and citizenship.
Kay Yow, Coach and Student-Athlete: Yow was an amazing basketball player for Gibsonville High in 1950 and eventually made an even bigger contribution with tremendous head coaching success at NC State University where she experienced more than 700 career wins. Yow coached the US women's basketball team in 1988 to Olympic gold and to the final four for NC State University with her 1998 team. Fun fact: Commissioner Que Tucker worked under Coach Yow as an assistant coach in the mid-1980's prior to joining the NCHSAA in 1991.