New Mexico Student Selected as Section 6 Recipient of NFHS National High School Spirit of Sport Award
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 12, 2018) — Austin Denton, a student at Albuquerque (New Mexico) La Cueva High School, has been selected as the 2018 Section 6 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.
Despite facing numerous health issues throughout his life that render him unable to play sports himself, Denton has distinguished himself by making profound contributions to athletics as a journalist.
Originally diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cord cancer at age two, Denton has had to spend most of his life confined to a wheelchair. He is a patient at the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where he has received both radiation and chemotherapy treatments. The radiation in particular stunted his growth and he developed scoliosis because of the many surgeries he endured to remove bones to get at the tumor. Today, Denton is a cancer survivor who has been in remission for 10 years.
Denton has been an avid sports fan for as long as he can remember. Instead of pursuing participation in sports as an athlete, he has dedicated his high school years to the communications/journalism side of athletics. He accomplishes that through his social media work for the La Cueva football program, his work covering all sports for the school newspaper, and his work as public-address announcer at all home basketball and baseball games. In addition, his resume includes work as a broadcaster for ESPN Radio 101.7 The Team and ProView Networks. Along with his play-by-play work, Denton is also responsible for halftime interviews and postgame coach interviews.
His most memorable journalism accomplishments probably came at the national level as a guest reporter for the NFL Network and CBS. He was also invited to Media Day for the 2016 Super Bowl, where he was given the opportunity to interview Peyton Manning.
About the Award
The NFHS divides the nation into eight geographical sections. The states in Section 6 are New Mexico, Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.
Nominations for this award were generated through NFHS member state associations and reviewed by the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award Selection Committee composed of state association staff members.
While the national winner will be recognized June 29 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, the section winners will be recognized within their respective states and will receive awards before the end of the current school year.