McRae of Proctorville, John Auten of Cherryville, Toby Thorpe of Albemarle and Roger Morton of Greensboro are recipients of the 10th annual Golden Whistle Merit Award from the NCHSAA, in conjunction with the North Carolina Coaches Association and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association.
The quartet of officials will be presented with the award at the NCHSAA annual meeting on May 5 in Chapel Hill at the Dean E. Smith Center.
After a standout career as a basketball player at Orrum High School, McRae continued his career at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. His efforts there eventually earned him a spot in the UNCP athletic Hall of Fame.
As an official, McRae has worked one state championship game in football, two basketball championships, the East/West football and basketball games, as well as the North/South Basketball Classic and the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
“In one of the most economically-challenged counties in all of North Carolina, Al McRae has served as a mentor, leader and role model for countless young people, including many student-athletes that have become game officials,” said Brad Allen, an NFL official and NCHSAA Regional Supervisor.
“He has performed exemplary work in the recruitment of officials from diverse cultural backgrounds and continues to be a fixture in the civic, cultural and public service elements of his community.”
The criteria for the award 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 in addition to a minimum of 10 years of experience as an active official.