Fuquay-Varina baseball pitcher Craig Mitchell and Broughton girls basketball player Emily Newton are among three athletes who will be honored next week with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association's A.J. “Tony” Simeon Courage Award.
Both of them have been profiled in the News & Observer this year.
The Courage Awards honor individuals who, despite adversity, demonstrate exemplary character and performance and are an inspiration.
Newton overcame a near-fatal liver disorder known as Wilson disease, a rare genetic disorder. She had a liver transplant in March of 2010 but returned to the Caps team for the 2010-11 season. Read her story in the N&O by Nate Taylor here.
Mitchell had an acoustic neuroma, a tumor in the brain that was growing unusually rapidly and necessitated a 19-hour surgery at UNC Hospitals on December 30, 2010. He returned to the team in March. Click here to read his story in the N&O as written by Tim Stevens.
Newton and Mitchell will be joined at the NCHSAA annual meeting at the Smith Center on Thursday, May 5 by Bradley Greeson of Southern Alamance.
Greeson has been an outstanding wrestler despite having spina bifida and is basically unable to use his legs. He has had 13 surgeries his life, yet he compiled a 46-23 career wrestling record at Southern Alamance. He was among the league favorites this season, but had an infection in his feet and eventually had a toe amputated.
“These individuals are truly inspirational and exemplify what is great about high school athletics,” said Davis Whitfield, commissioner of the NCHSAA.