The Ed Barker Award is given as an acknowledgement to the individual who has shown the most exceptional service to the OAT&CCC and to the sports of Cross Country and Track& Field in the state of Ohio. This year’s winner is Carson Cheek, formerly of Minster High School.
Carson has been involved in track and field since 1972. He served Minster School as an elementary teacher, guidance counselor, district special education representative and athletic director. He started the junior high track program and was boys varsity coach for fifteen years. During that time his team qualified for the State Meet in every event and finished third in 1988. The program always had thirty-five to forty-eight boys participating. In 1977 he was the founder of the Minster Memorial Invitational Track & Field Meet. He also coached high school athletes internationally at meets in seven countries.
As athletic director for sixteen years, he was a founding member of the Midwest Athletic Conference. In 1975 he implemented the girl's athletic program at Minster. He has been elected into the Northwest District Hall of Fame and the Ohio Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame.
Carson was an official for over thirty years and a District and MAC Meet Director for over ten years. In 1993, he earned the Contributor Award from the Ohio Officials Association. The Ohio High School Athletic Association Meritorious Award was presented to him in 2005 for officiating. Carson also published the Ohio Track & Field News and Cross Country News for over twenty years. He was a recruiting source for coaches coast to coast and a contributing information source for local, state, and national publications.
His latest contributions have been as OAT&CCC Historian and as the Cross Country Clinic Director. The OAT&CCC has twice awarded him its Distinguished Service Award. Carson is also an Army combat veteran of Vietnam, having served with the 82nd Airborne and 1st Infantry Divisions.
Because of his many efforts on behalf of our sports, the athletes and coaches, and his community, we are proud to recognize Carson Cheek as the 2014 Ed Barker Award winner.