Longtime Wilmington official to be honored with Golden Whistle Award

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Longtime Wilmington referee Larry Honeycutt is among four individuals from the world of high school officiating who will be honored with an award for lifetime achievement, according to a news release from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA).

Honeycutt, Wiley Barrett of Southern Pines, Charles A. “Slim” Carriker of Winston-Salem and Harry Helmer of Elm City are the recipients of the ninth annual Golden Whistle Merit Award, created in partnership with the NCHSAA, the North Carolina Coaches Association (NCCA) and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association (NCADA).

Larry Honeycutt was honored earlier this year during a pregame ceremony at Hoggard. Photo courtesy- John Crouch
Larry Honeycutt was honored earlier this year during a pregame ceremony at Hoggard. Photo courtesy John Crouch.

“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.”

They will be presented their awards at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting on May 7 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

Honneycutt 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 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.

Honeycutt retired earlier this year from officiating, but is often seen at sporting events around town and remains one of the top performers of the National Anthem prior to many of the high school games in Wilmington.