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Granville-born concessionaire awarded by sports group

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CHAPEL HILL — The N.C. High School Athletic Association presented a Commissioner’s Choice Award for the 2019-2020 academic year to Granville County native Sammy Carden, from Durham Coca-Cola.

These awards are presented when merited for extraordinary service to the state’s high school athletic program as selected by the commissioner of the NCHSAA, according to a press release. The Commissioner’s Choice Awards debuted during the 1990-91 academic year as the Executive Director’s Choice Awards.

“Behind the scenes there is always an unsung hero making things happen,” the association said in a press release. “For the NCHSAA football and basketball championships hosted in Chapel Hill, Sammy Carden is one of those heroes.”

Carden is native to Granville County and attended South Granville High School where he played football and ran track. He oversees university concessions for Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Durham. This summer marks the beginning of his 50th year with the company.

Carden has serviced the NCHSAA Football and Basketball State Championships at UNC-Chapel Hill for more than 25 years.

“Sammy not only delivers product, but services his customers with professionalism, and most importantly, a ‘servant spirit’ — friendly, helpful, doing anything he can that will satisfy the coaches and spectators,” the release said.

Commissioner Que Tucker noted: “Any time the NCHSAA has been in need of refreshments for our championships, Sammy Carden has been there to provide them. I am pleased to honor Sammy with this award for his status as a true friend of high school athletics and the Association. The award represents just a small token of our appreciation for his service to the student-athletes, fans and members of the NCHSAA.”