RECIPIENTS NAMED FOR NINTH ANNUAL GOLDEN WHISTLE MERIT AWARDS
CHAPEL HILL –Four outstanding individuals from the world of high school officiating will be honored with an award for lifetime achievement.
Wiley Barrett of Southern Pines, Charles A. “Slim” Carriker of Winston-Salem, Harry Helmer of Elm City and Larry Honeycutt of Wilmington are the recipients of the ninth annual Golden Whistle Merit Award, created in a partnership among the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), the North Carolina Coaches Association (NCCA) and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association (NCADA).
Criteria for the award include demonstrating leadership, performance, service and training for the betterment of officiating, possessing officiating abilities emulated by fellow officials, being regarded as a person of integrity and character, and a minimum of 10 years of experience as an active official.
They will be presented their awards at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting on May 7 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill.
This year’s recipients of the Golden Whistle Merit Award include:
Wiley Barrett: Barrett owns the distinction of having played in an NCHSAA state basketball championship game, coaching a team to a state basketball championship, and then officiating in several state championship basketball games.
Barrett has officiated nearly 5,000 games during his NCHSAA career, including three football state title games and four basketball state championships. He has also worked the Shrine Bowl, two North Carolina Coaches Association all-star football games, and the North-South basketball classic.
He has served as a clinic leader and mentor to officials in football and basketball for over four decades in the Southeastern Officials Association. He has been a member for many years of the Moore County Board of Education and currently serves as chair of the Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Slim Carriker: Carriker has enjoyed a tremendous career in officiating at both the high school and collegiate levels.
He has been an NCHSAA football official for 44 years, an NCHSAA wrestling official for 20 and has also officiated in the South Atlantic Conference at the college level for 34 years, which has culminated with his induction into the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame.
A clinic leader for the North State Football Officials Association, he has ultimately been responsible for training more collegiate and National Football League officials in North Carolina than any other individual.
Carriker has worked an NCAA Division II national championship football game and is known for his mastery of successful game management.
Harry Helmer: Helmer has enjoyed an excellent career in officiating that includes 41 years as a high school football official. Helmer has been chosen to referee in six NCHSAA state football championship games, the first in 1979 and the most recent in 2014. He also worked the 2002 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
A graduate of Elm City High School and East Carolina University, where he played on the golf team, Helmer has served as clinic leader for the Wilson-area officials in the Coastal Plains Officials Association. He assigns middle school games and recreation department games in Nash and Wilson Counties.
He also officiated high school basketball for 10 years.
Helmer is considered a major recruiter of and mentor to young officials, and his commitment to fitness and effort has served as a model for all officials working in the program.
Larry Honeycutt: Larry began his officiating career while attending Wilmington College (now University of North Carolina at Wilmington) as a student, after quarterbacking Raleigh Broughton’s football team to a 1961 NCHSAA football title. He wound up returning to UNCW as a coach and faculty member in 1970.
During 47 years as a sports official, Honeycutt worked three NCHSAA state football championships, four soccer state championships and two more finals in basketball. He has also worked the state’s major all-star games in football and basketball, including the Shrine Bowl, and has even officiated the NCCA East-West all-star soccer game.
He has also officiated those three sports on the NCAA level and is one of the most respected officials in the state due to his broad experience and instructional leadership in multiple sports.
“These four are truly representative of excellence and leadership in officiating,” said Mark Dreibelbis, supervisor of officials for the NCHSAA. “We are extremely proud to honor these individuals who have demonstrated sacrifice and commitment.”