The North Carolina High School Athletic Association and State Farm Insurance, in a new awards program recognizing female high school athletes statewide who excel on and off the playing field or court, have named four winners..
Elizabeth A. Nance of South Mecklenburg High School, Jacqueline Filzen of West Carteret High School, Renee Sanders of Graham High School and Summer Patterson of South Stanly High School have been named the winners of the NCHSAA/State Farm Insurance Female Athlete Awards of Excellence.
The NCHSAA/State Farm Insurance Female Athlete Award of Excellence Program awards a one thousand dollar scholarship to each winner to use toward furthering her education at the college/university level.
In the 4-A classification, Nance played volleyball, soccer, and also ran indoor and outdoor track.
She captained three of those squads and was the Southwestern Conference Player of the Year in soccer, in addition to being to earning the academic honor as South Mecklenburg's Outstanding Senior.
Nance has also worked with Operation Christmas Child and the Loaves and Fishes food pantry.
West Carteret's Filzen, the 3-A finalist, was a three-sport standout in volleyball, basketball and soccer.
She was the Eastern Carolina Conference Player of the Year in volleyball and selected as West's Female Athlete of the Year.
She served as chairman of her school's National Honor Society, was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and involved in various programs at her church.
Chosen in the 2-A ranks, Sanders was valedictorian of her senior class at Graham, president of the National Honor Society and president of her school's DREAM (Daring to Role Model Excellence as Athlete Mentors) team.
She was the NCHSAA state 2-A runner-up in singles in 2002 and was a four-time conference and regional singles champion. Renee was also the MVP of her women's soccer team.
Patterson, the 1-A recipient, was a varsity cheerleader while also earning all-conference honors in soccer and finishing sixth in the pole vault at the state track championships. She was ranked first academically in her class at South Stanly.
She was active at South in SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) and also tutored at an area elementary school.
The program is open to any eligible senior female student-athlete during the school year. The student must be nominated by her school and participating in at least one varsity sport during the year, with a minimum cumulative grade point average for her high school career of 3.0 and at least a 3.5 during the respective semester.
The student-athlete must also demonstrate excellence in other areas, including athletic achievements and honors, school activities and clubs, and non-school activities such as church or community involvement.