I'm not normally one to toot my horn but here's a couple of items I thought I'd share with you.
On Sunday, I was honored by the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association as its 2009 Media Person of the Year. The award was presented to me by Brent Walston as part of the all-state ceremony at East Chapel Hill High School. As Brent (the boys soccer coach and athletic director at North Johnston) said, it was fitting that I got the award today because it was the same day Mike Petty was honored for his work with The Brittany Willis Memorial Scholarship Soccer Showcase.
Petty, who was the guest speaker (and I'll have more on that this week), was surprised when he was given the special award The Brittany, deemed "The Best Soccer Event in North Carolina." Petty, now living in Fayetteville, is a member of the original organizing committee for The Brittany and was Brittany's coach at Hunt.
For my part, I was nominated for coverage of The Brittany as well as the six-part series I did last summer, Soccer in Wilson.
I didn't issue any public thank-you's today but I would like to point out that, as someone who never played a minute of organized soccer outside a P.E. class in high school, whatever I know about the sport comes from the coaches with whom I have worked. That means Brent Walston, Ben Forbes, Toni Varacchi, Gary Hall, Glenn Griffin, Stacey Tant, Matt Akins, Michael Michalakis, Maitland Barnes, Rhine Sharp, Trent Dorough, Luke Poore, Scott Wofford, Drew Nick, Ike Onyeador and many more who have helped me understand the nuances of a sport I'm still learning.
In January, the N.C. Youth Soccer Association presented its 2009 Media Award to the Wilson Times for our coverage of the U.S. Youth Soccer Region III championships last June.
Thanks to both the NCSCA and the NCYSA for recognizing the work we've done. But as Forbes pointed out to me Sunday, I just raised the bar on myself.
That's OK, Coach. I brought my notepad and a camera to the ceremony Sunday and I've got a few stories coming up!