Victoria Chapman, an 8th grader at Sulphur Springs Middle School, has teamed up with Hibbett Sports to donate $1,000 to Hopkins County United Way through the Hibbett Superstars Program.
Staff Photo By Patti Sells

Eighth grader gets 'Superstar' status from Hibbett Sports

United Way to receive $1,000 for Chapman's spirit, determination and sense of fair play

By PATTI SELLS, News-Telegram Feature Writer

July 14, 2008 - Victoria Chapman, an all-around athlete and eighth grader at Sulphur Springs Middle School, has teamed up with Hibbett Sports to donate $1,000 to Hopkins County United Way through the Hibbett Superstars Program, designed to promote and encourage sports and good sportsmanship in communities.

"She represents the Hibbett concept -- the embodiment of teamwork, good health and wellness," said local Hibbett Sports manager Garth Ryan.

Athletes chosen exemplify the spirit, determination and sense of fair play that Hibbett Sports Superstars are all about. This program is Hibbett's opportunity to give back to communities that give so much by providing individuals, groups and organizations the chance to nominate youth age 7 to 16 that embody characteristics Hibbett deems to be exemplary for young athletes. Then, Hibbett and their partners, Reebok, Nike and Under Armour, contribute $1,000 per athlete to be donated to the local charity of their choice.

"Victoria is a true SUPERSTAR," emphasized her mother, Jan Chapman, who said her daughter has been involved in every sport available to her at least once since she was 5 years old -- soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball. "She keeps her team's best interest always in the forefront. It is never all about her."

According to Jan, Victoria has supported her teammates during times when she was injured and couldn't play by continuing to attend practices and games, always cheering them on from the bench if she's not in the game herself. It is also not uncommon to see her in the stands watching friends play when her own team is not.

"Victoria has been the peacekeeper between rival teams, preferring to be friends with everyone and trying to not let the teams become cliques," said her mother.

But according to Jan, the most recent event that reflects her daughter's "superstarness" occurred after the sudden death of her father, Biff Chapman.

"The very next week she was back on the court in the very same gym where she was when she and I got the awful news about her dad," Jan explained. "This child is so dedicated to her team and to her teammates. Even in that moment, in the midst of grief, she maintained a level of leadership."

Jan said that Victoria has never been one to brag or boast, but rather lead quietly and by example.

"She's just a natural leader. I'm really proud of her," said Jan.

Victoria is an honor roll student and was recently recognized for academic achievement as a United States National Honor Student Award winner, as well as being identified in the 2008 Seventh Grade Talent Search for mathematically and verbally talented students by Duke University.

She has also been selected as an 8th grade cheerleader at SSMS and this summer received All-American Nominee status for displaying superior qualities in certain aspects of cheerleading such as showmanship, technique and leadership.

As a Hibbett Sports Superstar, Victoria's picture and a short biography will be featured in an upcoming Hibbett direct mail catalog. And Hopkins County United Way will be presented a $1,000 check Saturday, Sept. 27, at the local store, located at 1402 Mockingbird Lane.

Victoria is the granddaughter of Van Bell and Billie Rose Chapman, both of Sulphur Springs.

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