14 scott graham EPppwcVTZEo unsplashVernon Aldridge, student activities director for the Cumberland County Schools, has long stressed the importance of the county’s coaches taking courses to make them better at their jobs.

That commitment recently earned the county national recognition as the National Federation of State High School Associations listed three county schools as first in the nation to reach Level I status on the NFHS School Honor Roll program.

The three schools are Gray’s Creek High School, John Griffin Middle School and Pine Forest
Middle School.

Since the initial three schools were announced, five more have been added to the list. They are Pine Forest High School, South View Middle School, Hope Mills Middle School, Spring Lake Middle School and Anne Chesnutt Middle School.

To make the list, a school must have at least 90% of the full-time coaches on its staff complete four courses offered online by the NFHS.

The courses are Fundamentals of Coaching, Concussion in Sports, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and Protecting Students from Abuse.

There are two more levels schools can achieve by completing additional NFHS courses.

Because all the county schools have been taking part in the NFHS initiative, Aldridge is optimistic it won’t be long before every county school is recognized for at least reaching Level I.

“The more we take these courses, the higher quality our coaches are,’’ Aldridge said. “I think it enhances the experience for the student-athletes.’’

He added all coaches in Cumberland County Schools have been required to take the four NFHS courses before the School Honor Roll program was started last December.

In addition, all county schools coaches must receive training in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and using an automated external defibrillator.

“My goal is to have all our schools to be Level 3 in two years,’’ Aldridge said.

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