ALBEMARLE — A local athlete recently received a prestigious honor from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
Albemarle student-athlete Miles Gregory was named as one of the 24 recipients for the 2022-23 Heart of a Champion Award, which recognizes student-athletes who meet a high level of academic criteria, athletic involvement and sound character.
Award winners have participated in at least one varsity sport and remained ejection-free during the school year while also displaying “outstanding citizenship and sportsmanship,” per the NCHSAA guidelines for the award.
“I am honored to receive the Heart of a Champion Award from the NCHSAA,” Gregory said in a social media statement. “Humbled and inspired by the stories and accomplishments of my peers. Thank you to my parents, teachers, and coaches for all the support.”
Now a rising senior, Gregory has played on the Bulldogs’ football, wrestling and track teams with success in each of the three sports, landing All-Yadkin Valley Conference in football and making it to the wrestling state finals tournament.
Stanly County Schools addressed his recent award: “In addition to Miles being a three-sport athlete in football, wrestling and track, he also excels academically in the classroom. He’s a two-time All-Conference selection in football and a state qualifier in both wrestling and track. He’s the epitome of what it means to be a student-athlete.”
The Heart of a Champion Award is part of a program offered by the NCHSAA Student Services Division and sponsored by the North Carolina Farm Bureau.
During the deciding process, each NCHSAA member school has the opportunity to nominate one male and one female student-athlete for recognition, using student application questionnaires and personal evaluations from school officials — such as the principal or athletic director — to choose the school’s representative.
A selection committee then reviews all submitted nominations to determine the award recipients.
“We are always looking for ways to highlight student-athletes who exhibit good sportsmanship and role model the character traits we hope all student-athletes learn through education-based athletics,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. “We are proud of the achievements of this select group of student-athletes, both on and off the field. Now, more than any other time, our society needs young people, such as this group of award winners, who exhibit what it means to have the ‘heart of a champion’ and who are dedicated to excellence in sportsmanship and citizenship.”