Saelens presents Unsung Leader awards
AMERICAN CORNER — Caroline County Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Saelens honored a football player from each county high school before the annual Colonel Richardson and North Caroline game Friday, Nov. 2.
The new Superintendent’s Unsung Leader Award, presented to the players after the opening coin toss, was awarded to Jordan Gabriel, of Colonel Richardson, and Cody Hunter, of North Caroline. Each player received a medallion from Saelens.
“With this new tradition, we seek to acknowledge that not every leader has a title or commands attention from the front of the team,” Saelens said. “Sometimes the most influential leader is the one who shows extraordinary effort and dedication, leads by example, and is a player that teammates naturally and informally follow. These are the qualities this new award will recognize.”
Colonel Richardson head
coach Dan Mangum said Gabriel was a leader on the team and is a dedicated worker, which are some of the qualities he was chosen to receive the award.
“He’s the kind of kid you want in your program and hopefully these younger kids look up to him and see that,” he said. “And I think for the most part they do and they aspire to be like he is.”
Mangum said Gabriel also is an excellent student, who is looking to study engineering.
“He’s just an outstanding kid, great to be around and he’s the epitome of what we want our kids to be,” Mangum said.
North Caroline head coach James McCormick said Hunter was nominated for his work ethic.
“(He) shows up to work everyday, doesn’t ask for accolades, does whatever he’s asked as hard as he possibly can, never complains — he’s just one of those good kids that you got to have if you want to have success in your program,” McCormick said.
McCormick said Hunter is one of the most necessary and essential pieces to his program at North Caroline.
“He’s just one of those kids that you don’t see in the paper a whole lot and he doesn’t get a lot of the flash, he doesn’t get that accolade,” McCormick said. “But he’s the kid you’ve got to have.”
As each player was presented Unsung Leader Award award, short biographies were read aloud about why each was chosen for the award.
“Gabriel pushes his teammates to be the best they can be, and goes above and beyond to improve his talents and the talents of those around him,” according to his biography.
“Hunter works hard for the team and putting it before himself,” according to his biography. “He shows up every day to push himself for the betterment of his teammates.”
Caroline County Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Saelens, center, presents the new Superintendent’s Unsung Leader Award to Colonel Richardson’s Jordan Gabriel, left, and North Caroline’s Cody Hunter before the annual game between the two schools Friday, Nov. 2.