Carrboro wrestler Dante Veltri wasn’t sure what was going on when his coach, Dewitt Driscoll, told him they would be attending last week’s annual spring meeting of the N.C. High School Athletics Assocation.
Even Carrboro athletics director April Ross had been a bit cryptic when she informed Driscoll and Dante’s mother, Karen Veltri, that the Jaguar junior would be receiving an award.
“I can’t tell you what it it, but he deserves it,” Ross had said.
So Veltri was a bit overwhelmed when called to the stage in front of the crowd in the Dean Smith Center to receive the NCHSAA’s A.J. “Tony” Simeon Courage Award.
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“This young man, who is a wrestler, missed his entire sophomore year due to cancer, undergoing treatment and the like,” NCHSAA Associate Commissioner Rick Strunk told the assembly. “The school applied for a medical hardship, which was obviously granted and well documented, and Dante came back this year to compete. He wound up finishing fourth in the 120-pound division in the NCHSAA state wrestling championships.”
Football coach Scott Braswell, who got past spinal surgery in August at the Mayo Clinic to return to the sidelines at Wilmington Hoggard, also received a Simeon Award last Thursday.
Named in honor of Tony Simeon, a long-time coach at High Point Central, the Courage Awards are given at the NCHSAA’s discretion to honor individuals who, despite adversity, have demonstrated exemplary character and performance to inspire members of the NCHSAA.