Each year, the NCHSAA recognizes 27 student-athletes as “Heart of A Champion” Award winners for their outstanding sportsmanship. NCHSAA coaches and schools have the opportunity to nominate a student-athlete if they fit the following parameters — the athletes cannot have been ejected from any contest and must have demonstrated outstanding citizenship and sportsmanship during their high school careers.
Andrew Smythers, a student-athlete from Starmount, is one of the 27 honorees. Smythers is a senior at Starmount where he plays baseball, basketball, and football.
Heart of a Champion Award began in 2000 as a way to recognize student-athletes who have participated in at least one varsity sport and remained ejection-free during the school year. These students also exemplify outstanding citizenship and sportsmanship.
“We are tremendously proud of the accomplishments in leadership and sportsmanship by this year’s group of Heart of a Champion Award winners,” said NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker. “Good sportsmanship and behavior-in and out of the playing arena-is critical to the success of NCHSAA programs. By highlighting fine peer models, such as these students, we hope to reinforce the positive behavior and character traits we believe our student-athletes learn from their involvement in high school athletics.”
Smythers and his fellow winners will be honored Saturday at a luncheon sponsored by the North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company at the Sheraton Hotel in Chapel Hill.