Shining Stars in Stripes – February

February Shining Stars in Stripes Winners: Larry Junkin from the Triangle and Southeastern Wrestling Officials Association and Chuck Eakes from the Triad Basketball Association

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association would like to recognize Larry Junkin from the Triangle and Southeastern Wrestling Officials Association and Chuck Eakes from the Triad Basketball Association.

Larry was nominated by his Regional Supervisor Charles Jenkins after officiating wrestling for over 40 years between the Triangle and Southeastern Officials Associations. Over the years, Larry as had the opportunity and the privilege to call numerous state individual and dual team championships along with countless regional tournaments. “Whenever I need an official if someone can’t make it, if Larry is free, he is always there to step in. He is truly there for the student-athletes of North Carolina. Larry is one of the most dedicated officials I ever worked with and his professionalism ON and OFF the mat makes him a great official.” His Regional Supervisor, Charles Jenkins said. 

Larry has always been heavily involved in North Carolina High School Athletics as he coached football for most of his educational career. He started officiating wrestling on the side when he was young and single, just to make an extra few dollars here and there.  After 42 years, Larry has an overwhelming knowledge for the sport and would offer this piece of advice to young officials "the most important thing is to know your rule and case book inside and out. Also, be human, don’t be on a power trip. You’re there to call the match, handle each close call and have discussion with the coach in a very professional manner.” Larry knows that his officiating career is coming to an end after 42 years, he says “I am a little bit slower on the mat and this ole body does not bounce back from a long day on the mat like it once did. However, I still love the sport and all that comes with it, so as long as I don’t hear too much grumbling about being too old, I’m going to stay with it as long as I can… I love this sport, the comradery and the friendships that I have made!”  

Chuck Eakes has been officiating basketball for the NCHSAA for over 30 years and got started in officiating be volunteering for local youth basketball games. Chuck what nominated by his Regional Supervisor Art Hardin who says “Chucks assistance, guidance and advice has eased the learning curve for me through my first year as the Triad Regional Supervisor” Art had many positive things to say about Chuck when nominating him for this spotlight: 1) He leads the largest TBOA satellite group serving schools and recreation programs in Winston-Salem 2) Many officials now on the TBOA varsity roster and higher were trained under Chucks leadership 3) His insistence on learning rules and the best application in game situations has led to him becoming one of the lead presenters during the TBOA preseason meetings. 

In his many years of officiating basketball, Chuck would say this to young officials “1) Give every game your best effort and take pride in what you do. 2) Understand that there is a process involved in advancing from one level to the next and it is important to be patient. 3) Be willing to accept constructive criticism.”  To Chuck there are many things that keep him coming back year after year, these would include: the camaraderie with his fellow officials, walking off the court knowing he gave the players and the coaches his very best that night and just being involved in high school basketball games in a meaningful way.  As for what Chuck expects moving forward in his officiating career, he says “my future in officiating is to have joy in being on the court as an official for as long as I can give the high level of effort, focus and intensity that each game, student-athlete and coach deserve!”