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Oct, 2021

NCFC Youth to Recognize Players each Season with Shield Award

NCFC Youth to Recognize Players each Season with Shield Award
Shield Award Recipients will be Recognized for their Demonstration of NCFC Youth’s Core Values which embody Fun, Community, Excellence, Innovation and Passion.

Beginning this season, NCFC Youth will recognize one player from each team who embodies and demonstrates our core values through his/her behaviors on and off the field through a new seasonal player award – The Shield Award. 

The Shield Award, which is proudly sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), builds on past seasons where players were recognized through the Hamilton Sportsmanship Award, which was initiated by the late Pat B. Hamilton, a founder of the Raleigh Soccer League (a predecessor to NCFC Youth), and continued in his memory to recognize players for their good sportsmanship. The Shield Award broadens the criteria for submission to showcase not only sportsmanship but also additional attributes and values that can lead to personal growth on and off the field for the player and the team. 

Recipients of the Shield Award represent what the NCFC “shield” (i.e., logo) represents through our established core values: 

  • Have Fun: A player that promotes a love and enthusiasm for the game; this player brings positivity to training and games and can often be seen with a smile on his/her face. 

  • Cultivate Community: A player who builds relationships through teamwork, trust, respect, and sportsmanship; encourages teammates regardless of the outcome or personal performance; respects opponents, referees, and coaches; this player is a leader and peer role model. 

  • Commit to Excellence: A player who works hard and is committed to achieving his/her personal goals while supporting the team; this player works hard despite the score and shows up to training with a desire to learn and improve.

  • Encourage Innovation: A player that embraces personal growth on and off the field; a creative thinker; a player who is always up for a challenge; willing to make mistakes to try new things and improve. 

  • Demonstrate Passion: A player that represents the shield (i.e., NCFC Youth), their team, and him/her-self with pride at all times

These five core values are central to our mission and what we hope all our players experience and gain through participation in soccer. 

“Like so many who came before us since our founding in 1974, we know that sports, in particular, soccer, can teach life skills and build personal character traits that players carry with them for the rest of their lives,” said Gary Buete, NCFC Youth CEO. “The Shield Award brings our core values and these lessons to the surface and into the conversations among players, parents, and coaches. Our goal is to have 100% participation from coaches each season, and we are looking forward to recognizing our inaugural Shield Award recipients at the NCFC men’s game on October 30th.  

Through this award, NCFC Youth 
and Blue Cross NC are excited to celebrate, recognize, and share the positive impacts playing soccer can have on the development of our players and youth in the community. 

“The spirit of the Shield Award aligns perfectly with our mission to make North Carolina communities stronger, healthier, and more inclusive for all,” said Reagan Greene Pruitt, Blue Cross NC Vice President of Marketing and Community Engagement. “We’re excited to recognize youth in the community who demonstrate sportsmanship, leadership, and dedication both on and off the field.” 

Every coach is asked to submit a player for the award – whether by coach decision or a team/player vote. This player will be the recipient of the “Shield Award” for their team in that season, and he/she will be recognized club-wide. All recipients will also 
have the opportunity to attend and be recognized during an NCFC or NC Courage professional game in front of family, friends, and the larger soccer community. 

Coaches will receive communication through PlayMetrics in the coming days with next steps on how to submit your team’s Fall Shield Award recipient.  


North Carolina FC Youth
5017 Memory Road 
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609

Phone : 919-834-3951
Email: [email protected]



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