Whitley was also a baseball standout for Rocky Mount, N.C. State, the Rocky Mount Leafs and the Wilson Tobs. He played seven seasons in the minor leagues.
The banquet program was dedicated in memory of Whitley, along with Wilsonians Don Thompson, Bennett Flowers and Tom Lofton.
Gilbert Ferrell, who served as a coach at Wilson Fike and later as Wilson County's high school athletic director, spoke about all four at the banquet, including Whitley.
"He was a first-class guy," Ferrell said. "The one thing he taught me most was that there's a difference between rivals and enemies. You can have rivals without having enemies."