ROSES to the Broughton High School football team and coach Chris Martin for a display of class that should make their school and fans proud.Chapel Hill High School played its home opener Friday night against Broughton. It was the first game the Tigers have played on their home field since the death of defensive lineman Atlas Fraley on Aug. 12. In a symbolic gesture to honor their absent teammate, CHHS sent just 10 players onto the field for its first play on defense. Martin recognized what the Tigers were doing, and he instructed his team not to take advantage of Chapel Hill's man-down lineup. Broughton quarterback Chandler Browning took the snap and immediately took a knee.Martin said he knew that Chapel Hill planned to honor Fraley by coming out one man short on the first play, and he wanted his team to offer a sign of support."What happened to them could happen to any program, and we wanted them to know that we share in their pain and that we are all one family," he said.It was a classy move, a gesture that reflected an understanding of what really matters. Cedar Ridge in Hillsborough, by the way, made a similarly fine display of sportsmanship when CHHS played its season opener there a few weeks ago. Cedar Ridge joined Chapel Hill before the game in gathering together around Fraley's parents, and Cedar Ridge coach Lou Geary presented them with the game ball.
ROSES to Freedom House Recovery Center, the Chapel Hill-based substance abuse and mental health treatment program, which recently lent its support to another worthy local organization. Two dozen people associated with Freedom House -- staff, treatment program graduates, advisory board members and others -- staffed phones for WUNC-TV's recent fund drive. The two groups could hardly be more different -- Freedom House helps people recover from the destructive effects of addiction and mental illness, while WUNC is a public television station. But that just makes the show of support more impressive, and of course the help goes both ways: Freedom House helped WUNC with its fundraiser, and WUNC helped Freedom House get the word out about the valuable services it offers to people in need.
ROSES to Jennifer Curtis, a born-and-raised Chapel Hillian who started learning to play the violin at the age of 3 and now draws critical acclaim on the international stage.She competed a few weeks ago in the prestigious International Johannes Brahms Competition in Portschach, Austria. She began her studies as a child with local teacher Mary Frances Boyce and continued leaning with UNC faculty member Richard Luby. The foundation they gave her helped her attend and earn a master's degree from the Julliard School.She is by all accounts a wonderful artist. Of at least equal importance, though, is her commitment to the idea of international cultural diplomacy through the arts. She participating in an intiative called Cultures in Harmony this summer, and she herself founded another project, called Tres Americas, dedicated to the notion of finding common ground through music.