#SPORTSMANSHIPTOGETHER: NCHSAA TEAMS GIVE BACK OVER THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH TOYS FOR TOTS CAMPAIGNS

The #SportsmanshipTogether series follows examples of good sportsmanship and programs doing things the right way in an effort to highlight the positive things seen across the NCHSAA during the Association's "Sportsmanship ... Together we make the right call" campaign. If you see an example of excellent sportsmanship at an NCHSAA member school or event, please contact James Alverson of the NCHSAA with the details (james@nchsaa.org).

Over the holiday season there are always a tremendous number of causes that draw people’s attention. Many NCHSAA teams looked for ways to give back to their communities throughout the season, and a few partnered with the United States Marine Corps Reserves’ annual “Toys for Tots” campaign.

Southern Lee and Overhills basketball players pose with their donations to Toys for Tots campaign prior to their game.In fact, two schools partnered together to use their basketball game to collect toys for the effort. Overhills and Southern Lee used their late November game to help their students and teams give back. Each team was responsible for getting at least five unwrapped toys or equipment and between the teams, they far exceeded their goal and filled up an entire box of items.

Overhills Athletic Director, Jermaine White, said, “Toys for Tots is an initiative that Harnett County Schools and Overhills High has supported for years.  The idea was generated from the "Sportsmanship Together" theme created by the NCHSAA.  Our Toys for Tots Coordinator, Mrs. Toshia Terrell, and I wanted to look ways to promote some of the things that our student-athletes were passionate about in addition to bringing awareness to the initiative.  I reached out to Coach Collins, who I have known from my coaching days at the rival Lee County High School, and he said that they would be more than willing to participate.”

White continued saying, “We believe that our student-athletes should be well-rounded in everything and this was just another step in that direction.”

Overhills and Southern Lee weren’t the only teams to get involved in supporting Toys for Tots. Even out on the coast in an area heavily affected by Hurricane Matthew, Cape Hatteras baseball got in on the drive. The team raffled off a $100 Wal-Mart gift card and gave 100 percent of the proceeds to the Toys for Tots program and the Hatteras Island United Methodist Church Angel Gift Program, raising $817.00 in ticket sales.

Then one Saturday afternoon, the team went to Wal-Mart to purchase toys for the drive. They were able to get 128 toys valued at $1,025.44 to help brighten Christmas morning for many children. Keith Durham, head baseball coach at Cape Hatteras, had run the program for 10 years while at South Johnston, now in his second year at Cape Hatteras he got the program up and running again. Durham said, “One of the goals of the Cape Hatteras Secondary Baseball Program is to help our student-athletes see the community and world around them, and to help them to understand that they have a responsibility to be a positive force in the lives of other people.  This project is one of the ways we encourage our student-athletes to give back to their community.”

These are just a few highlights of the many ways NCHSAA teams and members gave back over the course of the holiday season!