Two major awards will be presented to schools at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Annual Meeting on Thursday at the Smith Center on the University of North Carolina campus.
Freedom High School in Morganton is the eighth annual winner of the Exemplary School Award while Princeton High School is the winner of the 2014 Sportsmanship Award.
The awards are given as a cooperative venture among the NCHSAA, the North Carolina Coaches Association and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association. In addition to a trophy and a banner for display at the respective schools, each school receives a $1,000 cash award.
The Exemplary School Award recognizes the top overall school in the state in terms of the total program, including but not limited to athletic success, scope of athletic opportunities offered, facilities, community interest and involvement, academics and the like.
Freedom High School in Burke County is an ethnically, socially and economically diverse school that successfully brings together those on the higher end of the social and economic spectrum, a large number of students on free and reduced lunch and a large exceptional childrens program while also sending students to Ivy League schools and the service academies, all part of the Patriot Nation.
The school has a great tradition in athletics, winning the state 3-A mens basketball title this year in the Smith Center with a huge following from Morganton, but also winning state championships in golf, volleyball and womens basketball in recent years, advancing in the soccer playoffs and winning the conference football championship this year.
Freedom also has an outstanding band program, regularly winning Grand Champion trophies in competition, a Math Team that has competed on the national level, a top Drama Department and an award winning Art Department, to name a few. The Anchor Club has been named the top Anchor Club in North Carolina several times, all part of the total program. The school has also committed its student-athletes to sportsmanship and accountability.
"Freedom and Princeton have set themselves apart during the 2013-14 academic year by earning these prestigious honors," said Davis Whitfield, NCHSAA commissioner. "We applaud their commitments in the areas of sportsmanship and overall excellence."