The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is proud to present the five recipients of the 2018 Golden Whistle Merit Awards for outstanding officiating service. These awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting at the Dean E. Smith Center on May 3, 2018 in Chapel Hill.
Criteria for Golden Whistle Merit Awards includes 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. This year marks the 12th annual presentation of this award.
KIRK WARNER – RALEIGH – TRIANGLE FOOTBALL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION
Kirk Warner has officiated over 600 high school games including over 60 playoff games. He has worked two NCHSAA State Championship Games and eight regional finals. His on-field experience demeanor and abilities set the standard of excellence for his peers in the Triangle Football Officials Association. He has chaired the Review Committee to evaluate the performance and promise of officials, as well as providing legal counsel and being a member of the Triangle Football Association Board of Directors for over 20 years. Throughout his career, Warner has been a key mentor and trainer of new officials, promoting the NCHSAA officiating program throughout the community. His stature in the community adds extra legitimacy to high school officiating.
RITA ROY – GREENVILLE – NORTHEAST BASKETBALL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION
For over 30 years, Rita Roy has distinguished herself as a basketball official. Her career is marked by dedication, selfless service to others and an unending motivation to enhance wellness for everyone across the state. Roy is a former basketball player at East Carolina University and has spent her career working to make the game of basketball better for players, coaches and officials alike. Her officiating honors include a North Carolina vs. South Carolina All-Star game assignment, the Girls and Women in Sports Award, a Distinguished Alumnus Award from ECU Recreation and Leisure Studies, and the Meritorious Service Award of the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association. Roy is a founding member of the North Carolina Senior Games. She serves on the Pitt County Special Olympics Committee and has coached various teams that benefit female athletes.
CECIL MOCK – LIBERTY – EAST CENTRAL WRESTLING OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION AND MID-STATE BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL UMPIRES ASSOCIATION
Cecil Mock is described as the ultimate ambassador for the NCHSAA and education-based athletics. Mock currently officiates volleyball, basketball, wrestling and baseball for the NCHSAA. He has received the Distinguished Service Award in officiating and has officiated 25+ NCHSAA individual and dual team state championships. Mock was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015 and currently serves as a rules interpreter for the East Central Wrestling Officials Association. He is also a clinic leader for the Mid-State Baseball and Softball Umpires Association and is seen at all state championships the NCHSAA offers as a patron and supporter.
RICK RIDENHOUR – ROCKWELL – METROLINA BASKETBALL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION
Rick Ridenhour sets the “gold standard” for excellence through his passion for teaching, tireless work ethic, distinguished on-court career as a basketball official and his determination to serve the student-athletes of North Carolina. An outstanding official, Ridenhour has served the NCHSAA and NCAA for over 30 years and worked many post-season assignments including two State Championship Games, numerous appearances in the NCAA Elite 8 Division II Tournament, and multiple selections to work the NCAA Men’s Division I National Tournament. He is a strong family man and former SBI agent that has provided service to others as a teacher, mentor and instructor in many facets. His foundation of success comes from his unwavering commitment to the ideals of education benefiting not only the officials of our state, but also the member schools the NCHSAA serves.