Chad Smock, a youth coach from Hilliard, Ohio and Cameron Justice, a teen athlete from Dublin, Ohio, were honored by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and Major League Baseball Charities (MLB), with the sixth annual Commissioner’s Play Healthy Awards. The award recipients were recognized and presented their awards by Melanie LeGrande, Director of Community Affairs for Major League Baseball, during the Partnership’s annual gala at Gotham Hall on December 8 in New York City.
Judged by a panel of parents, coaches and sports industry professionals, Coach Smock and Justice were selected from a competition across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico for their dedication to fair, drug-free play and an overall healthy lifestyle. Winners were chosen based on their commitment to leadership, sportsmanship and encouragement of others, on and off the playing field.
Coach Chad Smock is a girls’ varsity lacrosse coach at Hilliard Davidson High School in Ohio; a school sports and senior portrait photographer; a father; and an advocate for guiding youth to live a healthy and drug-free lifestyle. Since 1986, Coach Smock has been involved in Youth to Youth International, a community-based drug prevention and youth leadership program that encourages young people to live free of drugs and alcohol. Despite the loss of his daughter earlier this year, his passion and dedication to motivating teens never faltered as he continues to inspire his student-athletes to do their best in sport and in life.