Marlboro County High School junior Chandler Herndon is one of eight sectional winners of the National High School Spirit Award. He was recognized Tuesday during a pep rally at the school. The section winners will now compete for the national championship.
Through this award, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) seeks to recognize individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics.
According to MCHS principal Dr. Mark Bunch “Chandler fits that bill perfectly.”
Herndon won first the South Carolina spirit award, then was selected as the winner for the southeast region that also includes the states of North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
“Chandler is a highly skilled, yet slightly challenged, junior at MCHS. Born three months early and then diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two, Chandler has had to overcome more obstacles than the average person, but that has not stopped him from striving to reach his goals,” said Bunch while announcing the award to the student body.
“He consistently goes above and beyond expectations and supersedes requirements, shocking everyone who knows him,” said Bunch.
Herndon is currently the class president, after serving in the same position during his freshman and sophomore years. Throughout his high school career, he has also been active in many school organizations, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, National Beta Club, Interact Club and Honors Chorus.
He serves the athletic department as the public address announcer for Marlboro County High School baseball games, the spotter for the public address announcer at home football games, and assists with data entry into the football team’s video scouting software, Hudl.
Outside of school, Herndon coaches four church-league basketball teams, is a member of the Miracle Baseball League, and hosts his own sports webcast, “910 Sports.”
He is also well known in the community as a March of Dimes activist, raising over $93,000 through his organization, Chandler’s Chain Gang. He does all this while also working toward his Eagle Scout badge in Troop 625.
“These accomplishments aside, there are many other reasons Chandler deserves the National High School Spirit Award. Chandler’s selfless actions while working in the Marlboro County High School Athletic Department deem him worthy of this award,” said Bunch.
“He has never allowed his physical handicap to hinder him in any way. He embodies the true ‘spirit of sport’ all year long, for every sport and organization at Marlboro County High School. He does not just show up; he works the events with a hearty smile on his face and the eagerness necessary for a successful, smooth evening of athletic activity,” said Bunch.
Herndon delivers many motivational speeches to athletic teams throughout the school year, and students and coaches alike admire his passion and desire for high school academics and athletics.
“Chandler will do anything possible to help Marlboro County High School flourish, particularly the athletic teams. We are better due to his presence, and we are proud to have him as a Bulldog,” said Bunch.
Marlboro County High athletic director Dr. Dean Boyd presented Herndon with a plaque and Superintendent of Education Dr. Helena Tiller added her congratulations and hopes for Herndon to bring home the national title.