Simone' Hamlar and Israel Hairston 2024 B'nai B'rith award recipients

Alex Caywood wins Artie Levin Personal Life award

ROANOKE, Va. – On Monday, 37 standout student-athletes from area schools gathered at the Hotel Roanoke to celebrate their remarkable achievements at the prestigious B’nai B’rith Athletic and Achievement Awards. Sponsored by the Roanoke Jewish Federation, this esteemed event recognizes exceptional young individuals who excel in athletics, academics, and citizenship.

Two top awards were given to one male and one female athlete who have distinguished themselves in multiple facets of their high school careers. This year’s recipients are Simone’ Hamlar from Northside High School and Israel Hairston from William Byrd High School.

Simone’ Hamlar is a track and field 2x state champion in the 400 meter dash, All-American athlete, Cosmopolitan Sr. Division Runner of the Year in 2022, and a member of the volleyball team. She plans to attend George Mason University next fall.

“I think the last time Northside had a student athlete win here was in 1993, so that means a lot to me and proves I’m smart and good at track and volleyball and anything else,” Hamlar said. “I would say it’s a lot of late nights, studying, waking up, practices, and extra things just so I can be the best athlete I can and also a great student.”

Israel Hairston is a 1st and 10 Player of the Week, first team Blue Ridge District DB, offensive player of the year, 1st team All-Region QB for the 2023 season, and a member of the track and field, baseball, and basketball team. Hairston is heading to Virginia Tech to play football next year.

“There’s a lot of people that went into this, helping me with my time management skills, my academic load, a lot of people instilled the right thoughts into me to keep going,” Hairston said. “Especially my parents and my brother, to maintain the highest grades I can, so that’s what went into this.”

Alex Caywood of Faith Christian received the Artie Levin Personal Life Award, presented to someone who makes a positive impact on those around them and in the community.

The B’nai B’rith Athletic and Achievement Awards serve not only to honor these exceptional young individuals but also to highlight the importance of balancing athletic dedication with academic rigor and community involvement. Congratulations to all the nominees.

About the Author

Brooke Leonard is the newest addition to the 10 Sports team, joining in June 2019.

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