North Carolina High School Athletic Association 'Unsung Hero Award' goes to 3 lifelong Triangle natives

Every spring, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association awards an unsung hero.

"Once they got involved in helping us with our championship, they just wanted to come back," said NCHSAA commissioner, Que Tucker. "They're always friendly, they have a willing spirit, and they just come with that smile on their faces ready and willing to do whatever we asked them to do."

This spring the award is going to three men, Steve Alford, Ted Carver and Arnold Spell.

"It's fun for us," Alford said. "We enjoy it. And you know, it's not something we expect to give you recognition for But it sure is nice that they did."

"You take 100 counties in North Carolina and they thought enough of us to recognize," said Spell. "That's quite an honor."

Arnold and Steve are both Durham natives and Ted from Roxboro have been around the association for most of their lives. The trio serves in a variety of roles for the State Championships in golf, football and basketball with the NCHSAA.

"I think what I get out of it is the fact that there's so many great student athletes in North Carolina," Alford said. "I'm not just talking about physical, I'm talking about they're good people. You know, I mean, and we meet new ones each year. When we go to championships and this is fun to be around, it really is. It keeps me young. Not that I'm old, but it keeps me young."

"We get to see the best of the best you know, we're always working State Championships and the kids are so great," Spell said. "The parents are great. I have a relatively busy job. And when I go to Southern Pines to work a golf tournament, or I go to Chapel Hill, Raleigh on a Saturday to work State Championships. Everything's gone. Just don't have to worry about any of the day to day stuff.

Typically the unsung hero award is handed out among other NCHSAA awards each May at the Smith Center.

"This year obviously because of COVID-19 we could not do that it does not diminish the role that they've played and how special we think that they are," said Tucker.

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The men said they look forward to hopefully many more years to come with the NCHSAA

"I'm not a member of a civic club or anything like that," Spell said. "It's kind of my release. I really, really enjoy it."

"As long as I'm still able to get up and go and they'll still have me, I'll still be there," Alford said.
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