Pine Crest student-athlete selected as national recipient of NFHS National High School Spirit of Sport Award
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 29, 2012) — Jacob Goldberg, an athlete at Fort Lauderdale (Florida) Pine Crest School, has been selected the 2012 national recipient of the “National High School Spirit of Sport Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
The “National High School Spirit of Sport Award” was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics.
A senior at Pine Crest School, which is considered to be one of the top academic schools in the state of Florida, Goldberg has taken 13 advanced placement courses in highly challenging subjects. Since 2009, he has been a dual-enrolled student at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Despite that highly challenging academic regimen, he maintains a glittering 4.56 grade-point average (on a 4.0-scale).
Goldberg is extremely active within the school, as he is a member of several clubs, including the Pine Crest Beta Club, the Spanish Honor Society and the Math Club. He has been very deservedly recognized with numerous awards, including the Powerful Kid Award, the Emory Book Award and the Florida Lions Club International Award.
Goldberg is also a standout distance runner, who in addition to running on the Pine Crest track and cross country squads, has competed in nine half-marathons and four triathlons. A cross country varsity letter-winner, he helped lead Pine Crest to the Broward District championship and to a regional runner-up finish.
Not content to restrict himself to simply the basics, Goldberg does volunteer work at an Alzheimer’s Day Care center, studies macular degeneration and diabetes under the direction of a doctor, and in 2007 cofounded with his sister, Rachael, “Together We See,” a foundation that has raised more than $45,000 to help send blind and disabled youth to summer camp.
And while all of those accomplishments are extremely admirable and impressive, they are made truly incredible by the fact that Goldberg is legally blind and has Tourette’s syndrome.
But don’t ask him if he considers those to be disabilities or if he feels that he has been dealt an unfair hand in life.
According to Pine Crest Associate Athletic Director Jim Foster, Goldberg will instead tell you that he doesn’t view those as obstacles, but rather as adjustments he must make to attain the goals to which he aspires.
“This is a young man whose vocabulary does not include the words ‘I can’t,’” Foster said. “Instead, he simply finds a way to persevere without complaint. He has constantly used his misfortunes as a platform to selflessly help others.
“Further, this remarkable young man is the epitome of independence. While attending class at FAU, he takes the bus to school. When walking about campus or running in cross country races, he doesn’t use a guide dog.”
In short, Goldberg would be considered to be extraordinary even if he didn’t have the disabilities beset him.
Goldberg has a very strong desire to give back to the community, especially to children who face similar challenges as he. Although he had already raised a lot of money through “Together We See,” Goldberg wasn’t content with just that. Knowing that he will be leaving for college next year, he wanted to make sure that he could help needy children not only in the present, but also in the future.
With those thoughts in mind, he organized a 5K fundraiser on February 18. While such an undertaking is generally done by a committee and not an individual, Goldberg took on all of it himself. Among the many things he did, he researched and met with companies to find out how to stage such an event, and also secured all of the sponsorships and organizers himself. In the end, the race generated a very impressive $20,000, and in the process helped make the foundation’s funding even more secure for the future.
As a means of recognizing Goldberg’s receiving the National High School Spirit of Sport Award, Pine Crest School will be holding a presentation and press conference at the school on March 5.
In addition to the selection of Jacob Goldberg as the national award recipient, the NFHS National High School Spirit of Sport Award Selection Committee chose eight individuals for section awards. Following are the 2012 National High School Spirit of Sport section winners:
Section 1 – James Burgoyne, student-athlete, Darien (Connecticut) High School
Section 2 – Grace Firestone, former student-athlete, Wilmington (Delaware) Tower Hill School
Section 3 – Jacob Goldberg, student-athlete, Fort Lauderdale (Florida) Pine Crest School
Section 4 – Alysia Bennett, student-athlete, Sullivan (Indiana) High School
Section 5 – Josh Ripley, student-athlete, Andover (Minnesota) High School
Section 6 – Bastrop (Texas) High School football team
Section 7 – Jessica Yasin, student-athlete, Lake Isabella (California) Kern Valley High School
Section 8 – Michael Lamb, student-athlete, Big Horn (Wyoming) High School
Nominations for this award were generated through NFHS member state associations and reviewed by the NFHS National High School Spirit of Sport Award Selection Committee composed of state association staff members. While the national winner will be recognized July 8 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, the section winners will be recognized within their respective states and will receive awards before the end of the current school year.
About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and fine arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and fine arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and Rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.6 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; produces publications for high school coaches, officials and athletic directors; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, spirit coaches, speech and debate coaches and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS Web site at www.nfhs.org.
John Gillis, 317-972-6900
National Federation of State High School Associations
PO Box 690, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206
jgillis [at] nfhs [dot] org