Pair of GC athletes earn NCHSAA award
Greene Central softball standout Allison Wade is one of two Rams nominated for the NCHSAA’s ‘Heart of a Champion’ award, celebrating sportsmanship and strong play. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
SNOW HILL — Greene Central has a pair of athletes with the Heart of a Champion.
Imajae Dodd and Allison Wade will be honored April 13, along with 29 other student-athletes from schools under the NCHSAA umbrella, as winners of the “Heart of a Champion” award. Each school was allowed to nominate a student-athlete of each gender who participated in at least one varsity sport or activity this season — including cheerleading — who wasn’t ejected from a contest and demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship throughout their career.
The students filled out an application questionnaire and a school official provided an evaluation.
"We are honored to pause and recognize this group of 31 student athletes that have consistently demonstrated the values and traits that we hope all student athletes learn through our programs,” NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said. “This group of award winners are to be commended for their commitment to excellence in sportsmanship and citizenship."
Wade, who played volleyball in 2018 and helped the softball team to a 7-2 record as of Wednesday, was nominated by Greene Central football coach Allen Wooten for her all-around efforts.
“When you see somebody do what she’s done for Greene Central academically, athletically and socially, it’s really a no-brainer,” Wooten said. “She’s a renaissance woman, a great leader and a valedictorian — she has all of the qualifications and with the time and effort she puts in, you know she’ll be successful down the road.”
Wade said she didn’t expect the award, but was thankful.
“I thought it was pretty cool and I was glad to get it,” Wade said. “I was surprised, but to me it meant working hard over the past four years really paid off.”
Dodd shared similar sentiments.
“It’s always a blessing to be nominated for awards like this,” Dodd said. “I did my best to keep a clear head on the court and stay away from any negativity.”
Dodd finished the 2018-19 season by helping Greene Central reach its third consecutive 2A Eastern Regional in basketball, and the UNC-Wilmington commit was nominated by the school’s athletic director, David Bryant.
“Overall, he’s a great person and athlete,” Bryant said. “He represents the school well and he truly has the heart of a champion.”