Be the Referee: Deciding the Game

March 2, 2017

This week, MHSAA assistant director Mark Uyl discusses why officials must make calls even in the final moments of a close game during tournament time.

Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Below is this week's segment – Deciding the Game - Listen

Every American sports fan knows when the calendar turns to March, it’s time to start thinking about basketball tournament games.

With all of the pundits out there talking about the matchups and who may advance on the brackets, the comment gets made every single year that we simply hope the players decide the outcome of every game – and not a referee’s call.

The fact of the matter is that in the last 10 seconds of a tied game, when a player drives down the lane and gets hit and get knocked to the floor, an official has to make that foul call because the players did decide the outcome of that game. For the officials to simply swallow their whistles and let one team break the rules for a clear advantage is not letting those players decide the outcome.

    Past editions
    Feb. 23: Pitch Counts - Listen
    Feb. 16: Recruiting Officials - Listen
    Feb. 9: Ejections - Listen
    Feb. 2: Wrestling & Technology - Listen
    Jan. 26: Post Play - Listen
    Jan. 19: Ice Hockey Overtime - Listen
    Jan. 12: Free Throw Change - Listen
    Jan. 5: Ratings - Listen
    Dec. 22: Video Review - Part 2 - Listen
    Dec. 15: Video Review - Part 1 - Listen
    Dec. 8: Registration - Part 2 - Listen
    Dec. 1: Registration - Part 1 - Listen
    Nov. 24: You Make the Call - Sleeper Play - Listen
    Nov. 17: Automatic 1st Downs - Listen
    Nov. 10: Uncatchable Pass - Listen
    Nov. 3: The Goal Line - Listen
    Oct. 27: Help Us Retain Officials - Listen
    Oct. 20: Point After Touchdown - Listen
    Oct. 13: Untimed Down - Listen
    Oct. 6: Soccer Penalty Kick Change - Listen
    Sept. 29: Preparation for Officials - Listen
    Sept 22: You Make the Call: Returning Kickoffs - Listen
    Sept. 15: Concussions - Listen
    Sept 8: Equipment Covering the Knees - Listen
    Sept. 1: Play Clock Experiment - Listen
    Aug. 25: Clipping in the Free Blocking Zone - Listen

    Pioneering Competitive Cheer Official Cox to Receive MHSAA Norris Award

    By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

    April 18, 2024

    A registered contest official since the Michigan High School Athletic Association introduced competitive cheer with the 1993-94 school year, Quincy’s Candace Cox has played one of the leading roles in building the sport that’s averaged more than 5,500 participants annually over its 31-year history.

    She will be celebrated April 27 as the 2024 Vern L. Norris Leadership in Officiating Award honoree during the MHSAA’s Officials Awards & Alumni Banquet, where she and several of her competitive cheer colleagues who began as registered officials that inaugural season also will be recognized for completing their 30th years of service in 2022-23.

    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. He initiated the officials banquet in 1980, and this year’s will be the first in-person celebration since 2019. Cox will be honored along with high school game officials with 20, 30, 40, 45 and 50 years of service.

    Competitive cheer is unique to Michigan. While several states have spirit or cheer as a sport, the MHSAA format – which includes teams showcasing a variety of skills over three rounds and encourages full teams to participate by scoring higher when more athletes are on the floor – was created in part to provide more opportunities for cheerleaders to compete. Cox brought her knowledge and experience in sideline cheer into the initial development of the competitive format.

    She officiated a Regional competition during that first season of competitive cheer in 1993-94,  and the following season she began in a string of officiating at the last 30 MHSAA Finals, including in Division 1 this past winter. Cox also is in her 11th year as executive director of the Michigan Cheer Judges Association, the statewide leadership and training organization for the sport, and in that role she has trained thousands of officials – the MCJA instructs about 175 annually.

    She will be the first competitive cheer official to be recognized with the Norris Award.

    “At the very beginning, we didn't know what (competitive cheer) was going to involve, and there was a lot of work put in, a lot of committees, sharing a lot of information from sideline because Michigan is so unique to cheer,” Cox said. “At the very beginning, I never believed we would advance as much as we have. But I really feel we're a leader in the competitive cheer community.

    “My favorite thing is helping educate and be involved, and I do it for the kids. I want them to have a positive experience, and I want them to learn, and I also want to educate other officials so they realize what an important sport this is … another sport for girls to compete in.”

    Cox cheered while a student at Coldwater High School and became the sideline cheer coach after she returned from college. It was during that time she was approached by Marilyn Bowker, another of the founding trailblazers in the sport, and from then on Cox became a growing presence as competitive cheer continued to develop and thrive.

    She has served on the MHSAA’s Competitive Cheer Committee and Judges Selection Committee, and is an MHSAA registered assigner in the sport. Cox was named MCJA Official of the Year in 1999 and Michigan’s top official in cheer by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in 2000.

    “She’s been a pioneer since Day 1 in competitive cheer and is considered literally one of the fundamental pillars who have grown and promoted the sport over the years,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “Candy is a very worthy Norris Award winner.”

    Cox is the clinic manager at the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency and provides expertise from her professional field as part of the MHSAA’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. A 1973 Coldwater High School graduate, she earned an associate’s degree in medical administration from Barton Bryman School in Phoenix in 1979 and is certified as an HIV counselor by the State of Michigan, and BLS (basic life support), CPR/AED and first aid instructor by the American Heart Association.

    She has served her community of Girard Township in several roles, including currently as township supervisor after previously holding office as trustee and contributing on multiple boards and commissions. She’s also served as Branch County jury board chairperson and was named Branch County Citizen of the Year in 2011 by the Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce.

    Cox is a member of the Coldwater Early Bird Exchange Club and has served as president of the Bronson Polish Festival. She is active in service projects for St. Charles Borromeo Parish and judged CPR for local, district and regional Future Health Professionals (HOSA) competitions.

    Previous recipients of the Norris Award

    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 Par
    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 
    2016 – Linda Hoover, Marshall
    2017 – Michael Gentry, Shelby Township
    2018 – Jill Baker-Cooley, Big Rapids
    2019 – David Buck, St. Joseph
    2020 – Hugh Matson, Saginaw
    2021 – Lewis Clingman, Grand Rapids
    2022 – Pat Hayes, Birmingham
    2023 – Chuck D. Walters, Jackson

    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 27. Twenty-four officials with 50 or more years of service will be honored, along with 36 officials with 45 years and 51 officials with 40 years of service. A 30-year award will be presented to 110 officials, and 176 officials with 20 years of experience will be honored.

    Tickets for the banquet are available to the public and priced at $25. They will not be sold at the door. Tickets can be ordered by calling the MHSAA office at (517) 332-5046 or by registering online at this link (officials must be logged into the website to register). Deadline to register is April 19.


    20, 30, 40, 45 & 50-YEAR OFFICIALS

    The officials on this list are receiving their 20, 30, 40, 45 and 50-year service awards.


    Allegan - Joseph Munn
    Allen Park - James Murdoch
    Ann Arbor - Shawna Lorch

    Bad Axe - Gary Krause
    Bannister - Clyde English
    Baraga - Scott Koski
    Battle Creek - Lonzo Warren
    Bay City - Jason Ruple
    Bay City - David Szczypka
    Belleville - Michael McCormick
    Big Rapids - Marty Shaffer
    Blissfield - Steven Babbitt
    Bloomfield Twp. - Richard Dylewski Jr.
    Bloomfield Village - Maynard Timm
    Bridgman - Shane Peters
    Brimley - George Jones
    Bronson - Brian Case
    Bronson - Kevin Gardner
    Brownstown Twp. - Charles Monette Jr.

    Cadillac - Demetrio Rojas-Cruz
    Chassell - Robert Fay
    Chassell - Shana Ruotsala
    Chesterfield - Paul McBride
    Clarkston - Jamie Rykse
    Clarksville - Michael Burgess
    Clinton Township - Mark Carney
    Clinton Township - Brad Thomas
    Clinton Township - Keith Justice Sr.
    Commerce Township - Robert Foss
    Constantine - Jerry Burgess
    Cottrellville - Grant Harris

    Dearborn Heights - Abasi Sanders
    Detroit - Delonda Little
    Detroit - Kevin Cleveland
    Detroit - Cozette Ealy
    Detroit - Cedric Green
    Detroit - William Pugh
    DeWitt - Mark Kellogg
    Dewitt - Adam Miller
    Dorr - Dan Heasley

    East Lansing - Eric McGaugh
    Estero - Michael Jager

    Fenton - Paula McAllister
    Flint - Rozier Looney
    Frankenmuth - Matthew Krause
    Freeland - Nick Horn
    Fremont - Kevin Holmberg

    Gaylord - Michael Switalski
    Gobles - Randy Hood
    Grand Blanc - Josh Dean
    Grand Blanc - Anthony Klinck
    Grand Blanc - David Clement
    Grand Haven - Chris Romero
    Grand Ledge - Brian Gorman
    Grand Rapids - Marc Davis
    Grand Rapids - Timothy Gildner
    Grand Rapids - Lloyd Kilgore Sr.
    Grand Rapids - Fritz Owen
    Grand Rapids - Debra Rambow
    Grand Rapids - James Stokes
    Grand Rapids - Michael Underwood
    Grand Rapids - Randy Wilson
    Grandville - Kelli Polinskey
    Grosse Ile - Michael Szczechowski
    Grosse Pointe Woods - Douglas Bohannon

    Harbor Beach - Jill Fuller
    Harrison Township - Kimberly Broski
    Haslett - Casey Kern
    Haslett - Scott Bradley
    Hastings - Fred Koning
    Highland - Jason Zimmerman
    Holland - Jayson Dibble
    Holt - Andrew Hoard
    Honor - Matt Olson
    Horton - Jerry Waddington
    Houghton - Gregg Richards
    Howell - Anthony Vella
    Howell - Nathan Thompson
    Hudsonville - Roberto Ortega-Ramos

    Ionia - April Holman
    Ironwood - Guy Trier

    Jackson - Tracy Boyers
    Jackson - Troy Fairbanks
    Jackson - Daniel Garrison
    Jackson - Jim Miller
    Jackson - Bernard Nabozny
    Jackson - Douglas Richardson
    Jenison - Alfred Kennedy

    Kalamazoo - Jill Lansky
    Kentwood - Andrew Terrien
    Kentwood - Rus Tien
    Lansing - Oscar Castaneda
    Lansing - Steve Crowley
    Lansing - Terry Harris
    Lansing - Arthur Lilly
    Lansing - Keith Rhodabeck
    Lansing - Cameron Rodgers
    Lathrup Village - Gerald Jones
    Livonia - Scott Racer

    Macomb - Terry Prince
    Macomb - Don Kalpin
    Manistique - Joseph Crowder
    Manistique - Howard Parmentier
    Marlette - Chris Storm
    Marquette - John Schultz
    Marshall - James Dyer
    Marshall - Eric Earl
    Marysville - John Schweihofer
    Mason - Ammahad Wnaikau
    Memphis - Steven Gray
    Merrill - Malena Marr
    Michigan City - Larry Jordan III
    Middleville - Darrin Oliver
    Midland - Thomas Coatoam
    Midland - Alan Huntress
    Midland - Douglas Jones
    Milan - Jill Hargrove
    Milan - Michael St. John
    Milford - Jeffrey Garvin
    Milford - Larry Walters
    Mount Pleasant - Jeff Siler
    Muskegon - Robert Koekkoek

    Niles - Glenn Kimmerly
    Niles - Cory Gowen
    Northville - Doug Doyle

    Ortonville - Laurel Kobe

    Perrysburg, Ohio - Gregg Becker
    Pickford - Marc Andrzejak
    Pontiac - Wanda Clayton
    Port Austin - Andrew Preston
    Portage - Phillip Baker
    Portage - Jeff Kirkman
    Portage - Mike Lauraine
    Portage - Michael Northuis

    Reed City - Aaron Keup
    Riverview - Gregory Drewno
    Rochester - Avoki Omekanda
    Rochester Hills - Michael Timko
    Rochester Hills - Terry Zangkas
    Royal Oak - Linda Mariani

    Saginaw - Richard Moody
    Saginaw - Charles Smith
    Schoolcraft - Nathan DeMaso
    Schoolcraft - Reid Jones
    South Haven - Ken Dietz
    South Lyon - Elisabeth Tyzo-DePaulis
    St. Clair Shores - Chad Kelly
    Sterling Heights - Robert Hornik
    Sterling Heights - Patrick Radaj
    Sterling Heights - Erik Schneider
    Sterling Heights - Ernest Sciullo
    Sterling Heights - Terry Sheen
    Stevensville - Thomas Rivette
    Stevensville - Douglas Wegscheid
    Swartz Creek - Andrew Palovich

    Tecumseh - Eryn Stamper
    Temperance - Mike Faunce
    Temperance - Larry Nocella Jr.
    Traverse City - Jeffrey Brunner
    Traverse City - Jason Meriwether
    Traverse City - Thomas Spencer
    Trenton - Brian Hill
    Trenton - Kevin McMillion
    Troy - Glenn Craze
    Troy - Patrick Grady
    Twin Lake - Mike Vanderstelt

    Utica - Edward Kotulski

    Wallace - Terry Unti
    Walled Lake - Terry Prickett
    Warren - Arthur Lynn
    Wayland - Joseph Kramer
    West Bloomfield - Ilya Beltser
    West Branch - Howard Hanft
    White Lake - Gregory Waun
    Williamston - Kelli Hart
    Wixom - Cuba Gregory III

    30-Year Officials

    Allen - Kent Sanborn
    Allen Park - Mark Klein
    Alpena - Robert Centala Jr.
    Alto - Bene Benedict

    Bad Axe - Brent Wehner
    Baroda - Chris Falak
    Battle Creek - John Crumb
    Bay City - Stephen Linton
    Bay City - Scott Packard
    Bay City - Joseph Pietryga
    Bessemer - James Trcka
    Brooklyn - Gregg Wonderly

    Caledonia - Stacy Smith
    Center Line - Scott Manteuffel
    Charlotte - Val Nelson
    Chelsea - Eric VanHevel
    Chesterfield - Anthony Mancina
    Clinton Township - Barbara Laird
    Clinton Township - Scott Walendowski
    Comstock Park - Kathy Felty

    Davison - James Edgar
    Dearborn - Gloria Joseph
    Dearborn Heights - Rick Ballnik
    Detroit - Joyce Smith
    Dowagiac - Scott Stewart

    East Lansing - Brent Sorg
    Eaton Rapids - Wesley Collins
    Essexville - Mark Gentle

    Farmington Hills - Robert Dobson Jr.
    Fenton - Paul White
    Flat Rock - Janis Stahr
    Flint - Richard Higgins
    Flint - John Yelle
    Flushing - Jeffrey Straley
    Freeland - Terry Schmidt

    Grand Blanc - Thomas Le Blanc
    Grand Blanc - Leonard Sparks Sr.
    Grand Rapids - Jacquie DeJonge
    Grand Rapids - Jeff Green
    Greenville - Darcia Kelley
    Grosse Pointe - Ryan Murphy
    Grosse Pointe Park - George Markley
    Grosse Pointe Woods - Renee Dicristofaro

    Hazel Park - Benny Holzman
    Hickory Corners - Dean Bostwick
    Holt - John Massey

    Imlay City - John Forti

    Jacksonville Beach, Fla. - Bernadette Koenig

    Kalamazoo - Julie Jones
    Kalamazoo - Mark Kampen
    Kingsley - David Lemmien

    Lansing - Dee Hammond
    Lansing - Robert Mccullem
    Livonia - Steve Timm

    Manchester - James Connors
    Marinette - Neil Motto
    Mason - Daniel Carmichael
    Mason - Kathy Showers
    Mattawan - John Visser
    McMillan - Anthony Immel
    Midland - Katherine Duso
    Monroe - Carolyn Peters
    Montague - Stanley Bush
    Muskegon - Jacklyn Burr
    Muskegon - Chris Calkins
    Muskegon - Dennis Danicek
    Muskegon - Randall Peters

    North Muskegon - Tony Kartes

    Ontonagon - Andrew Borseth
    Ottawa Lake - Douglas Sanders

    Paw Paw - Karla Koviak
    Perry - Thomas Montpas
    Petoskey - Mark Holland
    Pierson - Joseph Williams
    Pleasant Lake - Marty Shean
    Plymouth - Richard Schmidt
    Plymouth - Michael Rossman

    Quincy - Candace Cox

    Rapid River - Mike Pilon
    Rochester - Janette Luttenberger
    Rochester Hills - Katherine DiMeglio
    Romeo - Mary Milke
    Rossford, Ohio - Steven Agler

    Saginaw - Thomas Nichols
    Saline - Todd Schultz
    Shelby - Todd Fox
    Shelby Township - Sheila Brownlee
    Shelby Township - Kristi Dean
    South Lyon - Michael Kiselis
    Sparta - Ryan Huber
    St. Clair Shores - Gary Kowalewski
    St. Joseph - Terry Myers
    St. Joseph - Dave Waaso
    Standish - Kimberly Belchak
    Stanton - Jason Petersen
    Sterling Heights - George Braund
    Sterling Heights - John Moceri

    Traverse City - Allen Hebden

    Utica - Sean Barel

    Waldron - Michael Granger
    Walled Lake - Donald Magee
    Warren - Joseph DiBucci
    Washington - Gloria Berger
    Wayne - Robert Allen II
    West Bloomfield - Cynthia Tyzo
    Williamston - David Sweeney
    Wolverine - David Ashenfelter
    Wyandotte - David Shalda
    Wyoming - Stephen Hendrickson

    Yale - Perry Sutherland

    40-Year Officials

    Adrian - Doris Goodlock
    Allen Park - James Sombati

    Battle Creek - Corby O'Leary
    Bay City - Tony Biskup
    Buchanan - Ronald Bartz

    Cedar Springs - Dan Rypma
    Charlevoix - Daniel Ulrich
    Clark Lake - Ralph Piepkow Jr.
    Clinton Township - Patrick Crandall
    Crystal Falls - Lyle Smithson Jr.

    Detroit - John Leidlein Jr.
    Detroit - Richard Shalhoub

    Eastpointe - Wayne Rockensuess

    Fort Gratiot - Jeff Klausing

    Garden City - Eric Hebestreit
    Grosse Ile - Steven Vecchioni

    Hancock - Brian Rimpela
    Holland - Brent Hoitenga
    Hudsonville - Gerald Kuiper

    Jackson - Thomas Morrissey
    Jackson - Joseph Page
    Jonesville - Kirk Snyder

    Kentwood - William Meade

    Lake Orion - James Weidman
    Lansing - Daniel Kitchel
    Lapeer - Gary Oyster
    Lapeer - Scott Strickler

    Macomb Township - William Gerbe
    Mayville - Gary Libka
    Midland - Bradley Crampton

    Newaygo - Clinton Abbott

    Ray - David Hines
    Reed City - David Erler
    Republic - Paul Price
    Rockford - Carl Knoop
    Rogers City - Karl Grambau
    Roseville - Mario Soresi

    Saginaw - Michael Mayers
    Saginaw - Richard Welzein
    Saginaw - Dennis Wildey
    Sand Creek - Jack Sager
    Sault Ste Marie - Dale Cryderman
    St. Clair Shores - Gerald Garcia
    St. Joseph - Bruce Molineaux
    Swartz Creek - James Loria

    Temperance - Michael Bitz
    Traverse City - Barbara Beckett

    Walled Lake - Nicholas Lesnau
    Waters - Rick Sehl
    Wolverine - Aimee Davis

    Ypsilanti - Jerry Kelley

    45-Year Officials

    Alpena - Scott MacKenzie

    Berkley - Charles Tyrrell
    Boyne City - Peter Moss
    Bronson - Randy Houtz
    Brown City - Curt Lowe
    Buchanan - Larry Monsma
    Burton - Thomas Rau Sr.

    Cheboygan - Peter Stempky
    Conklin - Gary Meerman

    East Lansing - Bruce Heeder

    Flint - Joseph Johnson Sr.
    Flushing - David Cowden
    Fowler - Dean Schrauben
    Frankfort - Peter Olson

    Grand Rapids - Todd VandenAkker

    Haslett - Heidi Doherty
    Holland - Craig Kuipers
    Houghton - Roy Britz

    Iron Mountain - Robert Barkle

    Jenison - James Kerbel

    Lake Isabella - James Novar
    Linden - John Cross

    Madison Heights - Joseph Marcinkowski
    Muskegon Heights - Johnny Robinson

    Oxford - Donald Maskill Jr.

    Plymouth - Charles Hempel
    Portage - Richard Bird
    Portage - Robert Burch
    Posen - Donna Couture
    Prescott - Charles Wren

    Roseville - Robert Iwasko Sr.

    Shelby Township - Michael Gentry
    South Bend, Ind. - Dale Matteson
    South Lyon - Dan Riggs

    Taylor - Clayton Conner

    Warren - Vern Rottmann

    50-Year Officials

    Adrian - Gary Laskowsky
    Ann Arbor - Michael Parsons

    Canton - David Mattingly
    Caseville - Daniel Korbutt

    DeWitt - Raymond Barnes

    Fenton - Hewitt Judson
    Fruitport - David Fisher

    Kalamazoo - David Turley

    Livonia - Steven Boyak
    Livonia - John Dunn
    Ludington - Roger Chappel

    Marlette - Jerry Sauder Sr.
    Marquette - Gene Aho

    Ontonagon - John Gravier

    Palmetto, Fla. - Donald Bourdon

    Rodney - Jeffrey Greene
    Rogers City - Michael Grulke

    Saginaw - Richard Havercroft
    South Haven - Robert Linderman
    South Lyon - Richard Gibson
    Stevensville - Bruce Arter

    Traverse City - Tom Post

    West Bloomfield - Anthony Magni
    Whitehall - Chuck Hulce

    PHOTO: Candy Cox prepares to judge during the 2018 MHSAA Competitive Cheer Finals. (Photo courtesy of the Michigan Cheer Judges Association.)