To Honor The Legacy

Grayling High School offers tribute to Terry Wakeley and his officiating contributions during pre-game ceremony on Thursday night
Grayling High School has dedicated its officials room in honor of Terry Wakeley – a local referee who officiated football, basketball, and baseball games in northern Michigan for decades – the school announced during a ceremony at Viking Stadium prior to kickoff of Thursday night’s Grayling vs. Roscommon varsity football game.
Wakeley, of Grayling, passed away on May 9, 2021, according to his obituary. He was 77.
“Through a community donation to the Crawford AuSable Excellence in Education Foundation the GHS officials room will be named the Terry Wakeley Officials Room. A plaque will be mounted in the room highlighting Wakeley’s incredible career,” according to an announcement made during the ceremony.
“Wakeley officiated games throughout northern Michigan and had a huge presence on the playing fields of Roscommon High School and Grayling High School. Wakeley is considered to be the most decorated official in northern Michigan. The iconic official’s career was highlighted with the following: inducted into the basketball coaches hall of fame in 2001. In 2007, Wakeley was awarded the prestigious Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Vern Norris Award. Wakeley officiated in the state finals in both football and basketball. Wakeley also officiated in the BCAM all-star game. Founding father of the North Central Officials Association,” according to the pre-game announcement.
“The Norris Award is presented annually to a veteran official who has been active in a local officials association, has mentored other officials, and has been involved in officials’ education. It is named for Vern L. Norris, who was executive director of the MHSAA from 1978-1986, and well-respected by officials on the state and national levels,” according to the MHSAA. “Wakeley has worked baseball, basketball, and football games at the high school level, earning assignments in championship games on the hardwood and the gridiron.  His contributions to educational athletics and officiating, however, transcend the working of title games.”
The MHSAA recognized Wakeley’s “recruiting and teaching of young officials” in 2007 as part of the presentation of the Vern Norris Award.
“Numerous adults launched their officiating careers because of his encouragement, and he has also introduced high school students to officiating through the MHSAA’s Legacy Program,” according to the MHSAA.
“(Wakeley) has made his mark in seizing every moment in a game or scrimmage as a teachable one, whether that is with  an up-and-coming official or a student-athlete.  Our games are better because of his contributions, and he is an outstanding selection for the Norris Award,” said John E. “Jack” Roberts, former Executive Director of the MHSAA, in 2007. “Those who know Terry Wakeley best know that he gives his all at every game, that he has been a tireless promoter of the avocation of officiating, and that when he steps on the playing surface, they can relax in knowing that the game will be administered in a fair manner.”
Current and former Grayling High School coaches and Thursday night’s game officials joined members of Wakeley’s family on the field for the pre-game ceremony at Viking Stadium.
The players also wore a tribute to Wakeley during the contest.
“You will notice that the football players are wearing a TW sticker on their helmets to honor the legacy that Terry has left with our community and athletics in northern Michigan,” according to the announcement made during Thursday’s ceremony.

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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