Alfie Wheeler receives Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award

Published 11:07 am Thursday, October 8, 2020

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The Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award, in honor of the long-time NCHSAA executive director who retired from that post in January of 2010, is presented annually to one individual in each region during the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s annual regional meetings.

One award is given per region and goes to an individual with at least 10 years of experience in education and athletics who is still active in the field and has regularly gone “above and beyond” the call of duty at both the local and the state level.

Alfie Wheeler of Manteo High School was the award recipient for Region 1. Wheeler is a native of Region 1 and has been a strong advocate and voice for colleagues and member schools in Region 1. A graduate of High Point University, where he played baseball, Wheeler now is the athletic director and baseball coach at his alma mater, Manteo High School. Wheeler is currently serving as a member of the NCHSAA Realignment Committee.

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Dare County Schools released the following statement from Wheeler:

“I am truly honored to be chosen as the Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award Recipient. I have never had the privilege of meeting or knowing Mr. Adams, but from what I have read and people I have spoken with, what he did for education-based athletics throughout his career in North Carolina and nationally is incredible. To be mentioned in the same sentence as Mr. Adams is truly amazing.

“This award does not belong to me. It belongs to Manteo High School, Dare County Schools, our students, educators, alumni, coaches, and the Dare County community. There are too many wonderful people that have made this place so special; they all can’t fit into one picture.

“Many things make our community and Manteo High School so special, but the thing that sticks out the most to me is the people. We have amazing students who work hard every day to excel in the classroom. Whenever I get the chance to talk with others across the state, I mention this with pride. I cannot say enough about the tireless effort the teachers and coaches put in to help students learn and thrive. I wish I had enough time to talk about the numerous community members and businesses that sacrifice their time and resources to support our students and extra-curricular programs. To everyone, I say thank you!”

Other award winners include:

Region 2 – Keith Moore, New Hanover High School – Moore has served in education for more than 30 years and has been an athletic director for more than 20 years. Moore is an NIAAA Certified Master Athletic Administrator and graduate of UNC-Wilmington. He was a long-time baseball coach, leading North Brunswick to the 1996 1A Baseball State Championship.

Region 3 – Scarlett Steinert, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools – Steinert has been a tremendous advocate for health and safety of NCHSAA Student-Athletes. Currently serving as the system athletic director for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, she recently concluded a four-year term on the NCHSAA Board of Directors, highlighted by spearheading the NCHSAA’s Gender Policy Subcommittee two years ago. She has been integral in progress towards inclusion in NCHSAA policies and serves as the coordinator for the statewide coordinator for the City/County Athletic Directors.

Region 4 – Patty Evers, East Bladen High School – Evers has been a strong supporter of the NCHSAA’s Student Services Program and recently concluded a four-year term on the Board of Directors. A graduate of UNC-Pembroke with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, Evers has been a successful basketball head coach with over 500 career wins and four trips to the state finals. She has served as the Head Coach of the NCCA East/West all-star game and been named the Toby Webb Coach of the Year (2007) and the Doris Howard Female Coach of the Year (2014) by the NCHSAA. In addition to her duties as an athletic director, Evers has also served as a volleyball official for many years.

Region 5 – Linwood Jerald, Parkland High School – Jerald has over 47 years of experience in athletics with 25 years coming as a coach and athletic director. Jerald has served NCHSAA students at Ben L. Smith, Atkins, Grimsley, T.W. Andrews and Parkland during his long career. Jerald has served as a part of the NCADA’s Strategic Plan Committee and regularly volunteers to serve at NCHSAA events such as the Western Regional Basketball Tournament, Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the Football Championships. He is a member of the Winston-Salem State University Athletic Hall of Fame and is a National Football Foundation Board Member.

Region 6 – Jeff Morris, Gray Stone Day – Morris has been involved in education-based athletics for over 25 years as both an administrator and a coach. Morris has built the athletic program at Gray Stone Day from the ground up and is a former president of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association (NCADA). Morris is a lifetime member of the NIAAA, serving on the accreditation committee and as a part of the LTI program. Morris has served as a conference president for numerous years and recently concluded a four-year term on the NCHSAA Board of Directors, where he represented the NCADA as an affiliate member.

Region 7 – Richard Armstrong, Iredell-Statesville Schools – Armstrong has been in education for over 40 years serving students as coach, athletic director, principal and now as Assistant Superintendent for Iredell-Statesville Schools, supervising all athletics in the system. The Lenoir-Rhyne graduate has worked in Newton-Conover Schools and Hickory City Schools as a principal, prior to joining Iredell County. When he was a coach in Alexander County, he was presented an Outstanding Educator Award and used a grant to fund a drop-out prevention program. He has previously served the NCHSAA as a member of a Realignment Committee.

Region 8 – Neil Blankenship, Swain County – A native of North Carolina’s mountains, Blankenship has served as a coach and athletic director for more than 27 years. Blankenship has been successful both on and off the field, winning multiple conference coach of the year awards and earning the NCHSAA’s Special Person Award for Region 8. Blankenship is instrumental in athletic support groups across the state, currently serving on the NCHSAA and North Carolina Coaches Association Board of Directors. He has also been a member of Boards of Directors for the North Carolina Football Coaches Association, North Carolina Athletic Directors Association and the Southwestern Officials Association.