CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association presented special awards at the regional meetings across the state that were just completed last week.
Commissioner Que Tucker and Assistant Commissioner Tra Waters presented both the Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Awards and the Special Person awards to recipients in each region.
The Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Awards, named for the Association’s late, long-time Executive Director, are given per region and go to a person 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. The Special Person award is similar but may go to a contributor to the NCHSAA who is not directly in coaching or education.
This award winners included:
Special Person Award – Elizabeth Carpenter – NCHSAA Wrestling Tournament Assistant
The daughter of long-time West Lincoln Wrestling Coach, Butch Ross, Elizabeth Carpenter has been an instrumental part of the West Lincoln Wrestling dynasty. She has served as a scorekeeper and tournament operator for more than 30 years, including serving as North Carolina TrackWrestling tournament director since 2003. Carpenter has been working with the NCHSAA State Individual Championships since 2008 and directs regional and state championship tournament matches and implementation. She has been named USA Wrestling’s “Regional Southeast Kids Person of the Year” and is invaluable in her support of the NCHSAA Wrestling Championships.
Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award – Billy Baker – St. Stephens High School
Billy Baker has served wrestlers at Lincolnton and St. Stephens High Schools for 26 years, building an exceptional program at St. Stephens where he has been for the last 19 years. Baker missed one year of coaching while serving in Iraq, but in 26 years, his teams have won 13 conference championships, five individual regional championships, four dual team regional championships and one dual team state championship. While his teams racked up 624 wins, he has been named the conference “Coach of the Year” 15 times during his career and North Carolina “Coach of the Year” three times. Baker was inducted in the Lincoln County Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. He is a graduate of West Lincoln High School.