The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) recognizes outstanding officials with the Golden Whistle Merit Awards. 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. Each of these recipients is a model of leadership, on-the-field excellence, and off the field commitment to the avocation of officiating.
This year’s winners are Michelle Hood Vroman, Wesley Carter, Kip Johnson, Larry Sorrell, Bob Graham, and Brian Weingartz.
Michelle Hood Vroman is an official in women’s lacrosse. Michelle has been a women’s lacrosse official since 1999, officiating all levels of lacrosse from youth to international competition. She is a clinic leader for the Southeastern Association and member of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame that regularly mentors other officials to grow the game of lacrosse.
Wesley Carter serves as a basketball official in southeastern North Carolina and has served at the high school and collegiate levels. He has served as a clinic leader for the high school association and worked State Championships, Regional Championships, and the North-South All-Star Games. Carter has also officiated NCAA D2 and D3 college tournaments and championships, serving in conferences from the MEAC and Big South to the Peachbelt and USA-South.
Kip Johnson is a football and basketball official currently serving as a regional supervisor in basketball. Johnson has a long list of experience at the high school and collegiate level and is entering his 11th season as a regional supervisor in basketball. He helped start the Triangle Basketball Officials Association Summer Officiating Clinic series to identify, train, evaluate and teach current staff and new officials. He has also worked six major bowl games at the collegiate level and has overcome oral cancer, continuing his officiating work during treatment.
Larry Sorrell is a volleyball, football, softball, and baseball official in the Triangle area. Sorrell first officiated NCHSAA Basketball, beginning his career in 1993 before adding volleyball and softball in 1994. He began officiating football in 1997 and switched from softball to baseball in 2000. He is a clinic leader and credited with improving the officiating base in the Triangle with his ability to use teachable moments to mentor young officials. In addition to his work at the high school level, Sorrell has officiated collegiate baseball and basketball.
Bob Graham has officiated high school and collegiate lacrosse for over two decades. He serves as the secretary for the NC Lacrosse Officials Association and the Triangle Men’s Lacrosse Officials Association. Graham was instrumental in ensuring the smooth transition of lacrosse to an official NCHSAA status. He helps with the new official recruiting program and is a certified observer, helping newer officials hone their craft and confidence.
Brian Weingartz has officiated football, basketball, baseball, and softball for the Association, serving 31 years in Basketball, 29 in football and 11 in baseball and softball. In addition to serving as an official, Weingartz has served in the Greenville Little League since 1998, helping secure Greenville as the new home of the Little League Softball World Series. He also volunteers at J.H. Rose, working with a group to paint the lines on the field for all home games.
Congratulations to all our Golden Whistle Recipients and thank you again for what you do to make high school athletics in our state the best it can be. If you would like to learn more about joining the officiating program, visit our officials web page..