Mervo's Jamar Mackell and Eastern Tech's Natalie Bates were the big winners at the 78th annual McCormick Unsung Heroes Awards Banquet Monday night at Martin's Valley Mansion in Cockeysville.
Mackell, a three-sport athlete, and Bates, a basketball player, were each awarded Charles Perry McCormick Scholarships worth $40,000 over four years.
The winners were chosen from 113 unsung heroes from 69 Baltimore-area public, private and parochial schools. Athletes from all sports were honored for their efforts to support others on and off the field.
Mackell, the center for the Mustangs football team, also wrestles and plays tennis.
He "served as an inspiration to the entire team with his toughness, effort, unselfishness and positive attitude," Mervo football coach Patrick Nixon said in a statement.
Off the field, Mackell serves as a student mentor to ten freshmen, as well as a peer tutor for other student athletes.
Nixon said "Mackell exemplifies what it means to be a great teammate, athlete and student."
Bates' willingness to sacrifice for her team gained the admiration of her teammates and coaches. She always encouraged younger players, as well as veterans.
An exceptional student, Bates manages her time wisely and teaches basketball to younger players. She also assists with preschoolers at her church.
"Teamwork is an integral part of my life that I never want to lose, as it has made me a more compassionate and communicative person," Bates said.
Four additional scholarships were also awarded.
Milford Mill's Jordan Johnson and Dulaney's Lydia Naughton received $7,500 scholarships. Western Tech's Cameron O'Grady and City's A'janay Nicholson received $5,000 scholarships.
Former Dunbar basketball star Muggsy Bogues delivered the keynote address.