Contact: John Johnson or Geoff Kimmerly
517.332.5046 or [email protected]

EAST LANSING, Mich. – April 15 – Marshall’s Linda Hoover is considered among the elite softball umpires internationally and admired as a pioneer in officiating, especially by women who have followed in taking up the avocation. She also continues to serve Michigan at the high school level as an umpire, clinician and mentor, and has been selected to receive the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Vern L. Norris Award for 2016.

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 served as executive director of the MHSAA from 1978-86 and was well-respected by officials on the state and national levels.

Hoover will be honored at the Officials’ Awards & Alumni Banquet on April 30 at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West in Lansing. She is in her 36th year as an MHSAA-registered official, working softball and volleyball in addition to softball at the collegiate, national and international levels.

A teacher at Marshall from fall 1982 until her retirement at the end of the 2013-14 school year, Hoover initially hoped to remain involved in athletics as a coach after finishing a four-sport career at Olivet College. But at the suggestion of one of her college advisors, Hoover took a class on officiating in addition to her courses on coaching – and ended up working her first volleyball match while still a college student.

Nearly four decades later, Hoover has officiated eight MHSAA Volleyball Finals and seven Softball Finals – in addition to serving as an umpire at four NCAA Division I College World Series, nine Amateur Softball Association Nationals and four softball World Cups. She also has officiated at the Olympic Trials and China’s Republican National Games, and is scheduled to work the USA Junior Olympic Cup this summer in Georgia.

Hoover also has served as a clinician for numerous softball and volleyball officiating clinics and as a clinician and officials evaluator during the MHSAA Softball Finals. She has contributed on various MHSAA committees and assisted at the MHSAA Volleyball Finals, and also served as a facilitator and speaker at the MHSAA’s Women in Sports Leadership Conference.

“Linda Hoover is considered by her peers as one of the elite softball umpires in this country, and she continues to share her gifts with athletes and coaches at our level while serving as an inspiration for many aspiring officials,” MHSAA Executive Director John E. Jack Roberts said. “She has provided decades of leadership and commitment to her craft. And as during her many years of classroom teaching, Linda is a tireless, understanding and energetic instructor as she works with officials seeking to reach toward her high level of expertise.”

Hoover graduated from Constantine High School in 1977 and Olivet College in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and minors in communications and psychology. She lettered in field hockey, basketball, softball and volleyball during her college athletic career, and is a sports Hall of Fame member for both her high school and college.

Hoover went on to earn her master’s degree in athletic administration and an endorsement in health education, both from Western Michigan University. At Marshall, she taught primarily freshman health education and also classes in physical education and child psychology.

She also did get that opportunity to coach, first middle school volleyball at the former Wattles Park (now Battle Creek Harper Creek), then junior varsity softball and middle school basketball at Marshall. But she found she enjoyed officiating more than coaching – and also found the avocation to be her “niche” and a place where she could make an impression on female athletes in particular. 

“I’ll never forget when I was still a rookie official, I’d been in it four or five years, and I was going to a high school softball game. A couple of girls were like, ‘Oh my gosh, we have a female official,’” Hoover recalled. “They’d never seen a female umpire.

“I want to present a positive role model, a positive experience for those who might want to get into (officiating).”

Hoover also has been inducted into the Michigan Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame and has received recognition as an “Elite Umpire” by ASA/USA, and attained the gold level of the ASA Umpire Medals Program. She was awarded membership in the ASA’s National Indicator Fraternity and certification by the International Softball Federation.

About half of the games she currently officiates are at the high school level; she also continues to officiate in the Mid-American Conference and has worked in the Big Ten, Big East and Missouri Valley conferences among others as well.

Hoover also contributes to her community as a volunteer for Marshall Area Community Services – she is a past board member for the program – and volunteers as well for the Marshall Fountain Clinic.

Previous recipients of the Norris Award are:
1992 – Ted Wilson, East Detroit
1993 – Fred Briggs, Burton
1994 – Joe Brodie, Flat Rock
1995 – Jim Massar, Flint
1996 – Jim Lamoreaux, St. Ignace
1997 – Ken Myllyla, Escanaba
1998 – Blake Hagman, Kalamazoo
1999 – Richard Kalahar, Jackson
2000 – Barb Beckett, Traverse City; Karl Newingham, Bay City
2001 – Herb Lipschultz, Kalamazoo
2002 – Robert Scholie, Hancock
2003 – Ron Nagy, Hazel Park
2004 – Carl Van Heck, Grand Rapids
2005 – Bruce Moss, Alma
2006 – Jeanne Skinner, Grand Rapids
2007 – Terry Wakeley, Grayling
2008 – Will Lynch, Honor
2009 – James Danhoff, Richland
2010 – John Juday, Sr., Petoskey
2011 – Robert Williams, Redford
2012 – Lyle Berry, Rockford
2013 – Tom Minter, Okemos
2014 – Hugh R. Jewell, West Bloomfield
2015 – Sam Davis, Lansing 

High school game officials with 20, 30, 40, 45 and 50 years of service also will be honored at the Officials’ Awards & Alumni Banquet on April 30.

Six officials with 50 or more years of service will be honored, along with 34 officials with 45 years. A 40-year award will be presented to 68 officials. In addition, 108 officials with 30 years and 193 officials with 20 years of experience will be honored. With the induction of this year’s group of 409, the honor roll of officials who have aided young student-athletes grows to 10,197 since the inception of the banquet in 1980.

Tickets for the banquet are available to the public and priced at $20. They will not be sold at the door. Tickets can be ordered by calling the MHSAA office at (517) 332-5046 or by sending the order form available at this link: http://www.mhsaa.com/portals/0/Documents/Officials/2016banquet.pdf.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,400 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.


20, 30, 40, 45 & 50-YEAR OFFICIALS 

The officials on this list will receive their 20, 30, 40, 45 or 50-year service awards at the 37th annual Officials’ Awards & Alumni Banquet on April 30 at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West in Lansing.

Acme - Randall S. Smith
Adrian - Fritz Detwiler
Allendale - Brian G. Haraburda
Alpena - Shawn T. Ballor
Ann Arbor - Thomas W. Richards
Ashland - Patrick Colgrove 

Bad Axe - James G. Deming
Bark River - Joseph L. Richer
Bay City - Frank W. Sniecinski
Bellaire - Steven F. Puckett
Belleville - Jack Loria
Benton Harbor - John W. Hunt, Jr.
Benton Harbor - David T. Nichols
Benton Harbor - Emmit Pratt
Berkley - Gary C. Drolet
Big Rapids - Timothy J. Leyder
Big Rapids - David A. Scott
Bitely - Charles M. Barron
Boyne City - Donald D. Homan
Boyne Falls - David M. Kruskie
Brighton - Justin W. Perrone
Brighton - Robert A. Tarrant
Brimley - Steven C. Wilson
Bronson - Jayne A. Sabaitis
Brown City - Christine J. Lee
Byron Center - Curt A. Stuck 

Cadillac - Thomas S. Pierson
Cadillac - Gary S. Rexford
Chesterfield - Kim E. Streeter
Clarkston - Craig H. Zinser
Clio - Martin W. Crane
Coldwater - Carl D. Murdock, Jr.
Colon - Paige Smolarz
Commerce - Patrick J. Vellucci
Constantine - Paul W. Swanwick 

Davison - Raymond E. Kubani
Davison - Edward J. Roberts
Davison - Jeffrey A. Torok
Dearborn Heights - Theresa L. Chretien
Dearborn Heights - William J. Stewart
Delton - Duane A. Knight
Detroit - Stanley L. Wright
DeWitt - Michael J. Williams 

East Tawas - David C. Thunberg
Eastpointe - Gregory Blick
Ecorse - Thomas B. Harris
Erie - Francis L. Connolly
Escanaba - Marshall C. Seawright
Essexville - Rock J. Denham 

Farmington Hills - Douglas M. Moye
Fennville - Dennis E. Myers
Flat Rock - David K. Stein
Fowlerville - James K. Jonas
Freeland - James W. Niswander
Fremont - David C. Steele

Galesburg - Steve C. Pearce
Garden City - Ed J. Mingo
Garden City - Ernest L. Mosley
Garden City - Robert E. Phillips
Gaylord - James F. Vanderveer
Gladstone - Charles H. Thomas
Grand Blanc - Greg D. Hamilton
Grand Blanc - Ronald S. Thomas
Grand Haven - Frank E. Roder
Grand Ledge - Andrew D. Joseph
Grand Rapids - Chad M. Bocian
Grand Rapids - Wallace L. Campbell
Grand Rapids - Steve Howells
Grand Rapids - Douglas P. Karsen
Grandville - Omar K. Helferich
Grandville - John P. Kievit
Grandville - Thomas M. Walters
Grass Lake - Gregory D. Lotz
Greenville - Paul R. Richardson
Greenville - Peter Wisniewski
Grosse Pointe - Laurie K. Bilkie-Snyder 

Harbor Beach - Neal J. Essenmacher
Harper Woods - Ronald Andras
Haslett - Sharie L. Akers
Hastings - Angie M. Sixberry
Hemlock - Edmund F. Phillipson, Jr.
Hillman - David M. Wcisel, Sr.
Holland - Dan Bazan
Houghton Lake - Louise C. Hofer
Hudsonville - James C. Schreur
Hudsonville - David L. Weick
Hudsonville - Daryl S. Woodwyk 

Iron Mountain - Rick J. Holland
Iron River - Dan C. Schive 

Jackson - Douglas E. Atkins
Jackson - Chris R. Dauterman
Jackson - Willie N. Godfrey
Jackson - Troy D. Miller
Jackson - Jamie A. Sweeney
Jenison - Lori J. Armstrong
Jenison - David J. Van Surksum
Jonesville - Anthony E. Lisznyai 

Kalamazoo - Bill D. Houseman
Kawkawlin - James J. Metz
Kentwood - Rebecca L. Cajka
Kentwood - Raymond J. Sheahan III 

Lansing - Mary F. Gray
Lansing - Robert A. Kaminski
Lathrup Village - Crathman G. Stephens
Lincoln Park - Samuel C. Fiori
Lincoln Park - Larry J. Martin
Lowell - Peter J. Osborne 

Madison Heights - Yousif E. Hanna
Manistee - Paul B. Golembiewski
Manistique - Jennifer A. Lancour
Marquette - Jeffrey L. Dodge
Marquette - George D. Pond, Jr.
Marysville - Jeffrey J. Wallace
Menominee - Terry L. Champeau
Midland - Richard E. Campbell, Jr.
Monroe - Eric D. Flotow
Mt. Pleasant - Douglas A. Downhour
Muskegon - Vergil I. Armstrong
Muskegon - Jason E. Goorman
Muskegon - Jim Mathews
Muskegon - Ollie L. Sandifer, Jr.
Muskegon - Johnnie F. Tanner 

New Baltimore - Rodriquez A. Lackey
Novi - Charles H. Edwards 

Oak Park - Kenneth W. Kunkel
Oakland - Dale Wells
Oscoda - Amy Dehner
Otsego - Brian W. Bonnell 

Parchment - E. John Madaras
Paw Paw - Dennis P. Paquette
Pentwater - Colleen A. Plummer
Perry - Jake T. Baumgartner
Pinckney - James E. Chapman
Plymouth - Brent D. Albrecht
Port Sanilac - William E. Cayce
Portage - Keith C. Cochran, Sr.
Portage - Shawn R. Kucera
Portage - Mark J. Shields
Portage - Ted L. Skartsiaris
Portland - Brian M. Krieger
Pound - Thomas Prue 

Quinnesec - Jerry W. Sanders 

Rapid River - JoJean A. Miller
Rochester Hills - Shana L. Poll
Romulus - James D. Hinojosa

Saginaw - Stanley M. Krajkowski
Saginaw - Joe F. Schimpf
Saginaw - Monte A. Steward
Saginaw - Roger L. Swanson
Saginaw - Henry Velasquez
Saginaw - Phillip M. Verdusco
Saint Joseph - Robert C. Banasik
Sault Ste. Marie - Leonard J. Knauf
Sault Ste. Marie - Robert J. Milligan
Scottville - Marc E. Soles
South Lyon - Patrick G. Bracco
Southfield - Arnold R. Rambus
Southgate - Byron J. Beattie
Spring Lake - Craig W. Councilor
Stanton - Douglas W. Mascho
Sterling Heights - Robert L. Fort, Jr.
Sterling Heights - Charles J. O'Connor
Sterling Heights - Bret Turner
Suttons Bay - Susan E. Richardson
Swartz Creek - Mark Gallagher 

Taylor - Michael Jackson
Tecumseh - Jamie D. Mossburg
Three Rivers - Erika A. Hinga-Smith
Toledo - Stephen T. Miller
Trenton - Phil DeJaeger
Troy - Robert C. Savage 

Walker - Wayne R. Bentley
Warren - Robert S. Fulcher
Warren - David H. Mossoian
Warren - Myron I. Rudnitsky
Warren - Bruce Schoen
Warren - Ron G. Thomas
Waterford - Robert M. Kelley
Waterford - Michael D. Morgan
Wayland - Thomas J. Hudson
West Bloomfield - Dwight D. Atkins
West Bloomfield - Jason C. Yett
Westland - Allen C. Hall
White Lake - Becky L. Lioi
White Lake - Farrell J. Palazzolo
Woodhaven - Stephen M. Tallman
Woodhaven - Frank L. Vilardi
Wyoming - Robert D. Dabakey
Wyoming - Daniel N. Hendrickson
Wyoming - Frank E. Warren 

Ypsilanti - Andrew B. Calvetti
Ypsilanti - Daniel L. Cobello 

Zeeland - Steven M. Bouman

Ada - Brian J. Todey
Alma - Chris A. Taylor
Arden - Chris Haack
Auburn - Philip G. Ouillette 

Bad Axe - Dale J. Grifka
Bannister - Bryon P. Taylor
Battle Creek - John D. Cumbers
Battle Creek - Frank E. Hendrickson
Battle Creek - Carl P. Olson
Bay City - Dennis D. Filary
Bay City - Michael J. MacDonald
Bellevue - John C. Prescott
Benton Harbor - William E. Forrester
Birmingham - Scott D. Wilson
Brighton - Carolyn I. Richards 

Canton - Donald A. Rose, Jr.
Charlotte - James J. Forrester
Cheboygan - Matt C. Redmond
Chesterfield - Marty McCabe
Clinton Township - Michael V. Mondalek
Coldwater - Randolph E. Spangler
Comstock Park - John C. Gross
Croswell - Ronald R. Matthews 

Delton - Vance A. Eberhard III
Detroit - Huey S. Gray, Jr. 

Flint - Lee R. Taylor
Flint - George H. Warson, Jr. 

Galesburg - Ardis C. Cook
Gobles - Steven L. Grybus
Grand Blanc - Michael W. Krellwitz
Grand Ledge - Todd H. Compton
Grand Ledge - Scott D. Dobie
Grand Rapids - Bart Estola
Grand Rapids - Jeffrey P. Kirchhoff
Grand Rapids - Thomas R. Kloote
Grand Rapids - Stephen J. VanHammen
Grayling - Scott T. Gabriel 

Hastings - Curt Johnson
Hessel - Joseph E. Baker
Hillsdale - Terry D. Armey
Holly - Lisa M. McKenney
Holt - Mark D. Coscarella
Honor - Richard L. Zych
Houghton - William J. O'Connor 

Ionia - Richard W. Seigle
Iron Mountain - John E. Hogberg
Iron Mountain - Lawrence J. Ross
Ishpeming - Harold W. Reichardt 

Jones - Daniel H. Covey 

Kalamazoo - Robert L. Kent
Kalamazoo - Leonard C. Moelaart
Kalamazoo - Charles E. Parker
Kentwood - Susan J. Barthold
Kunkle - Max A. Smeltzer 

Lambertville - Charles J. Thomas
Lansing - Robert L. Allen
Lansing - John A. Bengel
Lansing - Brian F. Secor
Lapeer - Stephen R. Fox
Lathrup Village - Dale K. Harris
Ludington - Thomas M. Hallead 

Manistique - William R. Lasich
Manistique - Charles A. Richey
Marenisco - Christine L. Carlson
Marshall - Brad Hall
Menominee - Michael F. Andre
Midland - Walter M. Kline
Millington - Martin E. Snover
Mio - Luke D. Houlton
Mt. Pleasant - Clayton A. McCreight
Munising - Dee Jay Paquette

Negaunee - Michael E. Adams
Negaunee - James D. St. Onge 

Owosso - Eugene S. Davis 

Pentwater - William C. Bainton
Pewamo - Bruce G. Nurenberg
Pigeon - Gordon D. Murphy
Plainwell - Robert D. Brown
Portage - Thomas J. Monroe
Prescott - Jeff Miller 

Redford - Gail R. Richardson
Redford - Mark A. Sleboda
Reed City - Sharon R. Lucey
River Rouge - Roger R. Provey, Jr.
Romulus - Fred M. Waybrant 

Saginaw - Joseph Jordan, Jr.
Saginaw - Roger C. Little
Saginaw - Luis H. Paredes
Saginaw - David G. Schimpf
Sagola - Robert M. Edberg
Sandusky - Brian P. Jones
Sandusky - Richard E. Tank
Sheridan - Michael T. Myers
Southgate - David J. Weidenbach
St. Clair Shores - Richard W. Fink
Sterling Heights - Armando Melchiorre
Stevensville - Friedhelm W. Helling
Sumner - Rollie L. Carman 

Thompsonville - Brett A. Spalding
Three Rivers - Al Heivilin
Troy - Michael J. Retaskie
Twin Lake - Ray E. Boes 

Union Pier - Joseph J. Gonzales 

Walloon Lake - Robert L. Vratanina
Warren - Charles A. Pankowski
West Olive - Stephen P. Myers
Westland - Stephen L. Patterson
Whitehall - Dominic E. Pulaski 

Baraga - James L. Holm
Bloomfield Hills - Dennis F. King
Bloomfield Hills - W. Jack Morris
Bowling Green - Thomas L. Ford

Cadillac - William J. Allen
Caledonia - George B. Watterson
Clarkston - Dale A. Kutchey
Clinton Township - Dennis G. Clark 

Davison - Michael E. Steinkraus 

Essexville - William L. Post

Fairgrove - Jerry L. Lasceski
Flat Rock - Robert J. Brodie
Flushing - Reed W. Johnson
Freeland - Kim D. Heisler 

Gaylord - George-Tom T. Johnson
Gladstone - Wayne W. Marshall
Grand Haven - Hal R. Beyer
Grand Rapids - Patricia A. Treman 

Hancock - John D. Vaara
Hermansville - Robert J. Maule
Holland - Mary F. Colenbrander
Holland - Thomas J. Kruithoff
Holland - Barbara A. Shelley
Holland - David W. Smits
Howell - Byron R. Rogers 

Iron Mountain - Jerry Reddinger
Ithaca - Craig C. Gritzmaker 

Jackson - Ardis Jill Conat
Jenison - Kyle R. Kasteline 

Kaleva - David K. Hoeh
Kentwood - Ingrid E. Jensen
Kentwood - Betty J. Near 

Lansing - Jerry Carter
Lansing - Richard D. Mull
Lansing - Karen L. Yanna
Livonia - Laura J. Alves 

Madison Heights - Evan H. Lehto
Manitou Beach - Allen L. Schuch
McMillan - Cliff J. Fossitt
Menominee - Peter C. Pericolosi
Michigan Center - Daniel C. Bentschneider
Midland - Donald G. Page
Mio - Douglas R. Graham
Muskegon - Duane A. VandenHeuvel 

Newberry - Thomas J. Rahilly
Northville - Edward K. Gabrys 

Okemos – N. Kent Ames
Onondaga - Nevin H. Alexander 

Parma - Wayne McDonald
Pontiac - Jerome C. Chaumley
Port Huron - James A. Dunn
Port Huron - Julius A. Traub
Portage - Frank S. Gawkowski
Portage - Duane E. Luedecking
Portage - Timothy Osterman
Posen - Kenneth Wozniak 

Saginaw - John C. Flukes
Saginaw - John E. Oczepek
Sterling Heights - Arnold E. Gray
Sturgis - Raymond Martin
Swartz Creek - David J. Sutton 

Taylor - David J. Beatty
Three Rivers - Kim D. Losik
Toledo - Eunice C. Harrell
Traverse City - Michael J. Muldowney
Troy - Kevin M. Leary
Troy - James J. Stone 

Wyoming - Sandra K. Noto

Battle Creek - Richard L. Randle
Bellevue - Glenn W. Alday
Benton Harbor - Michael J. Wojciechowski II
Bessemer - Henry E. Aapala 

Caro - John H. Amend
Comstock Park - Riley S. Swinehart 

Delton - Gregory W. Nikitas
Detroit - Richard Miller
Detroit - Otis G. Sanders 

Grand Rapids - George H. Kniola
Grand Rapids - Frank E. Waskelis 

Hart - Harvey M. Weaver
Holt - John S. Malatinsky
Howell - John S. Hardy 

Jackson - Ozzie L. Hashley

Lansing - Thomas Truscott

Macomb - Chet W. Boss
Mancelona - Linden M. Bielecki
Marcellus - Deborah L. Schug
Maumee - Thomas C. Smith
Mesick - Paul G. Williams

Owosso - Paul A. Chaffee
Owosso - Edwin L. Rappuhn

Plymouth - Don A. Vogt
Prudenville - Robert J. Studer 

Rochester Hills - Mike Luttenberger
Royal Oak - Thomas E. Hoff 

Scottville - O'Neil J. Newkirk, Jr.
Spring Lake - Joseph G. Popiel
Stanwood - Dwight E. Hollister 

Tecumseh - Nancy A. Hebert
Tecumseh - Cal E. Rohrback 

Warren - Collette C. Hallberg
Warren - William Upina 

Brimley - Milton A. Sutton 

Canton - Ronald A. Bak

Hudsonville - Edward Mosley, Jr.

Portage - Ruth A. Meyer
Portage - Jerry M. Spade 

Trenton - David Henegar

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