The naming of trophies is to honor individuals who have been responsible for working in specific sports. These people have been a constant in a particular sport working for years to establish the sport and perpetuate its growth in the NCISAA.
Dr. Isaac B. Southerland served as president of the eight man football conference keeping it vital and intact for many years. For many years, Ike was the head of Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston, NC and retired from there in 2007 to great fanfare and appreciation for his leadership in academics and football. Subsequently, the Board of Managers voted to name the eight man football championship for him. Ike presented the first trophy bearing his name in 2008. Ike Southerland also served as President of the NCISAA Board of Directors form 2004 to 2007.
Ernest “Benny” Alexander was Director of Athletics at Rocky Mount Academy for many years, he also served as varsity coach for boys’ basketball. Benny became nearly legendary as sport chair and site director for NCISAA 1A girls’ and boys’ basketball tournaments. During his tenure, the 1A tournaments grew in number of participating teams and in public support including years of sponsorship from the Hardees restaurants base in the Rocky Mount area. Benny also served on the NCISAA Board of Managers as the CPIC representative for many years. From this day forward, the 1A boys and girls championship trophies will be called “The Benny Alexander 1A Basketball Trophy”.
Dennis M. Cullen coached boys and girls track and cross country at Durham Academy from 1976-2015 and became one of the longest tenured and most respected high school coaches in North Carolina. He led Durham Academy to NCISAA State Championships in boys cross country in the fall of 1976 and girls track in the spring of 1977. This success as a coach continued over the years with Durham Academy winning 39 NCISAA state championships in boys and girls track and cross country during Coach Cullen’s time as coach. Included in the championships was a streak of 13 straight State Championships in boys cross country in the 80’s and 90’s. Along the way, Dennis coached 193 individual champions in track and cross country. In addition, Dennis has been responsible for organizing and hosting over 15 NCISAA State Championship track and cross country events. A humble and dedicated teacher and coach, Dennis has always stood for what is best for the student/athletes, and continues to effect and support track and cross country athletes and Durham Academy, and the NCISAA. Therefore, the NCISAA Board of Managers has awarded Coach Cullen with the Girls 3A Track and Field Championship Trophy and this trophy will, from this day forward, be named the “Dennis M. Cullen 3A Girls Track and Field Championship Trophy.”
Greg Simmons started teaching at Charlotte Christian School in 1989 and took over at the helm of the varsity baseball program in the spring of 1992. During his 30-year tenure with the Knights, he accumulated 733 career wins that included 22 conference titles and 16 NCISAA State Championship titles. No other private school baseball coach amassed as many career wins as Simmons. He coached 95 student-athletes who moved on to play at the college level and 10 who became Major League draft picks. In 2016, Simmons was inducted into the NC Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and was named Regional Coach of the Year five times by the Charlotte Observer. Coach Simmons lost his battle with lung cancer in January of 2023. As a tribute to his impact on the game of baseball within the NCISAA, the 4A Baseball Championship trophy has been named in is honor and was first awarded in the spring of 2023.