Teaching at Heart of Norris Honoree's Work

April 17, 2019

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

David Buck’s degree in education did not lead him into a fulltime job in the classroom.

But the longtime St. Joseph baseball umpire and basketball referee has had an undeniable impact as a teacher and trainer of officials in southwest Michigan, across the state and far beyond its borders.

Buck, one of the state’s most highly-respected officials on the court and considered among the nation’s top collegiate baseball umpires, will be recognized for his vast contributions to the high school games with the MHSAA’s Vern L. Norris Award for 2019.

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.

Buck has earned similar regard. He’s also a mentor as part of southwest Michigan’s Fruit Belt Officials Association, and considered an elite clinician who has taught the baseball umpiring trade on the national level.

“Dave Buck generously gives of his time to teach and instruct at clinics all over the country. He is an outstanding teacher who relates to all officials, from the rookies and up-and-comers to the veterans still working at improving their craft,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “Dave also has brought a level of enhanced professionalism to the officiating landscape in southwestern Michigan, where he has improved the continuing education, recruitment and retention efforts and assignment process for many officials. I cannot think of a more worthy Vern Norris Award winner than Dave Buck.”

Buck will be honored at the 40th Officials’ Awards & Alumni Banquet on May 4 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing.

He also will be recognized with his 40-year service award and remains registered with the MHSAA for basketball. He previously officiated football for 16 years, volleyball for his first seven and baseball for his first five beginning with the 1979-80 school year.

He has focused solely on basketball for the MHSAA since 2002-03 and officiated Boys Basketball Semifinals in 2012 and 2013 and the Class B Final in 2009. Additionally, he officiated 30 college basketball seasons, stepping away from that level a year ago, and has begun his 21st at the NCAA Division I baseball level, working in the Big Ten, Mid-American, Pac-12 and Big West conferences. He earned College World Series assignments in 2004 and 2007 and umpired in minor league baseball for 11 seasons, including four at the Triple-A level. Buck also is in his 15th year observing and evaluating umpires for Major League Baseball.

As noted, those experiences on the field have supplied valuable knowledge he gladly continues to pass on. After attending the prestigious Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School – he was named the “outstanding student” in 1984 – Buck also served there as an instructor for eight years. He has taught for 24 years at Doane Umpire Camps and instructed at the Division I Baseball Regional Umpire Camp.

On the high school level, he’s been a member of the Fruit Belt Officials Association for more than three decades including more than 15 years serving on its Board of Directors. He developed the FBOA’s mentoring program that pairs novice basketball officials with experienced partners for low-level games, and he also developed the FBOA website and continues to serve as its webmaster.

“We want people to succeed so much … and I still get a lot of joy out of seeing someone who discovers the world we’re in with officiating,” Buck said. “The camaraderie part of it, the feeling you get from doing the job properly, although for the most part you’re not getting pats on the back from people other than your own. It’s a unique group of people at all levels.”

Buck graduated from North Adams-Jerome High School in 1978, then earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Central Michigan University. In addition to the College World Series and nine Division I Super Regional assignments, Buck umpired two Olympic Qualifier tournaments and the Baseball World Cup in 2007.

Locally, in addition to officiating basketball, Buck has served as an assigner and evaluator for multiple southwest Michigan conferences for 15 years.

Buck most recently has been affiliated with the FBOA, Amateur Baseball Umpires’ Association, Collegiate Baseball Umpires Alliance and National Association of Sports Officials. He currently works as an electronic health records analyst at Lakeland Health in St. Joseph.

While officiating has played a significant part during the majority of Buck’s adult life, he’s equally passionate about his fundraising work to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. Buck’s oldest daughter Hannah battles the disease; he’s personally raised more than $175,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and served as the co-chairperson of St. Joseph’s “Great Strides Walk” from 2002-16. Hannah, who was diagnosed at age 5, will graduate from University of Michigan earlier in the day May 4.

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 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
2016 – Linda Hoover, Marshall
2017 – Michael Gentry, Shelby Township
2018 – Jill Baker-Cooley, Big Rapids

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 May 4.

Thirteen officials with 50 or more years of service will be honored, along with 53 officials with 45 years. A 40-year award will be presented to 66 officials. In addition, 99 officials with 30 years and 160 officials with 20 years of experience will be honored. With the induction of this year’s group of 391, the honor roll of officials who have aided young student-athletes grows to 11,397 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. Deadline to order is April 22.

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 40th annual Officials’ Awards & Alumni Banquet on May 4 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing.

Ada - Dawn M. Hart
Adrian - Aaron S. Crowley
Alden - Gerald R. Grieve
Allen Park - Scott M. Antioch
Allen Park - Ronald B. Rowland
Allendale - Brent J. Clark
Allendale - Alison M. Haraburda
Ann Arbor - Kevin S. Behmer
Ann Arbor - Bradley R. Mutnick
Athelstane - Robin G. Elsner

Bad Axe - Mark J. Schultz
Battle Creek - Kim M. Leach
Battle Creek - Mark J. Nabozny
Battle Creek - Marty D. Whalen
Bay City - Rosalinn I. Hardy
Beaverton - Susan J. Walker
Belleville - John R. Cast
Berkley - Daniel J. Monaco
Berkley - Chet Ostrowski
Bronson - Al Sosinski
Brownstown Township - Mark D. Johnson
Byron Center - Alicia S. Foote

Cadillac - Roger A. Fauble
Calumet - Marc J. Norton
Canton - Luther A. Bradley
Carleton - Michael R. Norgren
Caro - Manuel J. Sapien
Carsonville - William E. Wheat
Cass City - Russell P. Biefer
Cassopolis - Jim Foster
Cassopolis - Gerald Stewart
Cheboygan - Stephen R. Warren
Clark Lake - James M. McKinley
Clarkston - Kurt N. Haines
Columbiaville - Lenny Chaltraw
Concord - Kelly Khon
Crystal - James L. Brown

Dearborn - Barry M. Morang
Detroit - Walter R. Strong Jr.
DeWitt - Scott A. Helmic
Dorr - Lynne F Hunter

East Jordan - Peter A. Elliott
Escanaba - Scott E. Kwarciany 

Farmington Hills - Raymond Washington Jr.
Fenton - Juli A. Brown
Fenton - Wayne M. Mentier
Flat Rock - Nichole Mullins
Flushing - Brian R. Conover
Flushing - Matthew D. McLaughlin
Flushing - William R. White
Fort Gratiot - Steven P. Goudy
Fraser - Nicole D. Cuello La O
Fremont - Ann L. Pell
Fremont - Randall W. Pell
Fruitport - Shaun M. Danicek

Gaylord - Kent Bowen
Grand Ledge - Bruce A. Vida Jr.
Grand Rapids - Michael A. Bauer
Grand Rapids - Thomas V. Oliver
Grand Rapids - Darrian C. Thompson
Grandville - Michael S. Baio
Grandville - Robert J. Powers
Greenville - John J. Forton
Grosse Pointe Shores - Daniel F. Moffitt

Haslett - Brian M. Smith
Hillsdale - Joe P. Burkhart
Holland - Rick P. Haskins
Howard City - Alan J. Parker

Indian River - Thomas B. Stone
Ionia - Denny M. Ferguson
Ionia - Steven L. Gross
Ionia - Tim J. Swain
Ira - Harry A. Thomas Jr.
Iron River - Crystal L. Bongi

Jackson - Everton G. Davidson Sr.
Jackson - Brian A. Draper
Jackson - Tony W. Griggs
Jenison - Leisa A. Lobbezoo

Kalamazoo - Priscilla L. Bagley
Kalamazoo - Brent J. Bos
Kalamazoo - Cory M. Hinga
Kalamazoo - Susan M. Riksen
Kalamazoo - Daniel B. Stahr
Kimball - Clarence Wendell II

Lansing - Jerry L. Armstrong
Lansing - Richard C. Preston
LaPorte - Kendall L. Schaeffer
Livonia - Kire Bosnjakovski

Macomb - Dennis M. Kennedy
Marquette - Steven Paul Ritenour
Mason - Kirk R. Petee
Mason - Donald R. Sherwood
Mattawan - Anthony W. Coulter
Midland - Edward E. Saunders
Millington - Gailan R. Reinert
Monroe - Daniel W. Jukuri
Monroe - Marvin A. Krueger
Montague - Darric E. Roesler
Mt. Clemens - Jack C. Robinson
Mt. Pleasant - Todd Heller
Muskegon - James A. Allen Jr.
Muskegon - Lon C. Cross
Muskegon - Kevin D. Floyd
Muskegon - Matthew R. Koekkoek

North Branch - Jason Castle
North Branch - Lyle D. Jamison
Norvell - Trenton A. Withrow

Onsted - David C. Lauer

Petoskey - Gregory B. Brown
Pickford - Vance M. Barber
Pierson - Andrew D. Paulen
Port Austin - Michael L. Rea
Portage - Thomas L. Crook
Portage - Scott A. Muffley
Portland - Michael J. Hilley

Rochester Hills - Kevin M. May
Romulus - Victor R. Lambert
Rudyard - Sarah E. Kwiatkowski

Saginaw - Scott R. Helmka
Saginaw - Jeremy M. Mueller
Sanford - Keith Steele Stewart
Sault Ste. Marie - Todd M. Menard
Schoolcraft - Paul M. Rigby
Scottville - Nicholas T. Marshall
Shelby - Thomas E. Morningstar
South Haven - Wayne A. Wilkinson
South Lyon - Julie L. Fisette
South Lyon - Jason E. Rigley
Southfield - Kim F. Bell
Southfield - Thomas E. Marshall
Southfield - Kendall G. Sherman
Southfield - Jerome A. Shipp
Spring Lake - Marty D. Gravelyn Sr.
Spring Lake - Patrick N. Stegeman
St. Clair Shores - Michael Drake
St. Clair Shores - James E Haddad
St. Clair Shores - Randy Stuart
St. Ignace - Stacy McNamara-Perry
St. Louis - Julie G. Anderson
Sterling Heights - James P. Collier
Stevensville - Ron A. Waldvogel
Swartz Creek - Tashema M. Hayter
Sylvania - Gary F. Grycza

Taylor - Michael A. Daniel
Trenton - William T. Sanfilippo
Troy - Anthony T. Howard

Vermontville - Brian A. Hopkins

Waterford - Jeffrey P. Harnack
Weidman - John A. Cotter
West Bloomfield - Dennis J. Hannon
West Bloomfield - Michael Tarnopol
West Branch - Harold W. Wangler
West Olive - Jan Milek
West Olive - Cort E. Musolf
West Olive - Dan D. Zwick
Westland - Stephen R. Shiner
Westland - Mark J. Wludyka
Williamston - Roger F. Blasey
Wyoming - Bradley T. Brunet
Wyoming - Dennis J. Hodges

Allegan - Thomas D. Collins
Alpena - Terry W. King

Battle Creek - Damon J. Fox
Battle Creek - James R. Hughes
Bay City - Raul Gonzales
Bay City - Paul L. Sevilla
Bay City - Holly L. Watson
Bear Lake - Ross E. Schuch
Belleville - James M. Neal
Bloomfield Hills - Bette Norman
Brooklyn - Kevin R. Carpenter

Caledonia - Greg L. Pilbeam
Calumet - Sean D. Jacques
Carleton - Rick Grant
Carney - Paul A. Polfus
Charlotte - Ronald B. Beegle
Commerce Township - Brian R. Conley
Comstock Park - Robert L. Neier
Comstock Park - Terri L. Richards

Davison - Michael E. McKenna
Detroit - Troy Campbell
Detroit - Johnny P. Green

Detroit - John L. Walton
DeWitt - Dennis M. Beecham
Dowagiac - William J. Ward
Dundee - Robert L. Kroeger

East Leroy - Dale A. Traister
Eastpointe - David W. Vojinov
Edwardsburg - Roger A. Hostetler
Escanaba - Raymond Robitaille

Farmington Hills - Derek S. Adolf
Farmington Hills - David P. Drake
Farwell - Fred L. Witchell
Fenton - Earl L. Coad
Flint - Anthony A. Lewis
Flint - Michael L. Tipton
Flint - Gregory G. Waller
Fort Gratiot - Lowell W. Spiess

Goodrich - Kathleen S. Schollar
Grand Haven - Mark Knopf
Grand Rapids - Dawn D. Brackmann
Grand Rapids - Michael S. Dolce
Grand Rapids - James G. VanEenennaam
Grandville - Gary A. Jandernoa
Granger - Richard A. Cox

Hastings - Mark E. Martin
Holland - Duane D. Baker
Holland - Robert J. Durham
Holland - Brent T. Gawlik
Holt - David P. Gonzalez

Jenison - Jack H. Blauwkamp

Kalamazoo - Mark B. Heineman
Kalamazoo - Paul E. Kampen
Kalamazoo – R. Scott Ryder
Kalamazoo - Bradley J. Stapert
Kewadin - Jan R. Veliquette

Lacota - Ted S. Krzemen Jr.
Lansing - Robert C. Troub
Livonia - David C. Robitaille
Lowell - Randall C. Halstead

Marne - Mary J. Gavin
Marquette - Scot C. Fure
Midland - Cathy L. Bourne
Midland - Brian L. Taglauer
Monroe - Ben F. Budzios
Monroe - James O. Bunkelman

Naubinway - Elmer H. Albright
New Lothrop - Richard L. Ustishen
Norway - Donald R. Lofholm

Owosso - Randy L. Nesbit

Petoskey - Mark W. Lennemann
Plainwell - Nancy J. Snyder
Plymouth - Michael J. Craig

Rogers City - Valerie S. Peacock
Romulus - Debbie L. Dick
Royal Oak - Michael C. DeVuyst

Sandusky - Daniel W. Guibord
Sault Ste. Marie - Anthony D. Abramson
Shelby Township - Rock Dedvukaj
Shelby Township - Donald E. Schima
Southfield - Steven E. Woodfork
St. Clair Shores - Joseph S. Denomme
St. Louis - Matthew T. Chovanec
Sterling Heights - Martin A. Hacias
Sterling Heights - Brian S. Hopp
Stevensville - Charles D. Jager

Tecumseh - Lori Spotts
Thompsonville - Scott W. Lonoconus
Toledo - Thomas P. Donovan

Walker - Joseph A. Geluso
Warren - Kenneth A. Seidenwand
Waterford - Charles A. Inama
Waterford - Christopher P. Lund
Watervliet - Brian E. Hall
Wayne - Dan F. Kimberlin
West Bloomfield - Bernard Muhammad
Williamston - Norman H. Gozalka
Wyoming - Jon M. Hendrickson

Ypsilanti - Howard Portis

Adrian - Darwin L. Hukill
Alger - Leroy A. Oliver
Alpena - Phil C. Schultz

Bay City - Brian F. Dugan
Berrien Springs - Jamie L. Stacey
Big Rapids - Jill E. Baker-Cooley
Brighton - Thomas J. Mora

Cadillac - William T. Bartholomew
Caledonia - Conroy Zuiderveen
Cass City - Craig A. Weaver
Cheboygan - Lynwood Leightner Jr.
Concord - Charles T. Ewing
Crystal - Bruce E. Waldron Sr.

Daggett - Michael P. Lyons
Davisburg - William J. Davis
DeWitt - Perry M. Costello

Eaton Rapids - David E. Harns
Essexville - Robert J. Adamowski

Flushing - Dennis L. Harland
Franklin - Fred Tenorio

Galesburg - William W. Weese
Grand Blanc - Roy H. Linkowski

Holland - Fred C. Schmitt

Ionia - Kaye Breining

Jackson - David L. Clouse
Jackson - Chuck D. Walters

Kalamazoo - Willie B. Watson

Lake Orion - Michael J. Callahan
Lansing - Michael R. Conlin
Lansing - David D. Shipman
Lewiston - Jim Hilgendorf

Manistee - Jo L. Arnold
Marshall - Linda K. Hoover
Marysville - Thomas J. Ridas
Midland - Robert Baillie
Midland - Ken P. Beaudin
Midland - Eldon J. Dean
Midland - James A. Gillis
Monroe - Barry P. Little

Nashville - Brian D. Pufpaff

Okemos - Jay Marcotullio
Otisville - Douglas R. Fillmore

Plymouth - Henry L. George Jr.
Portage - Mike T. Hinga  

Ravenna - Thomas C. Wright
Riverview - Ronald J. Barger
Rochester - Brian E. York
Rochester Hills - Fred B. Castelvetere

Saginaw - Brian D. Wakeman
Sandusky - Alan DeMott
Shelby - Edmundo Flores
South Haven - Patrick J. Conroy
Southgate - Douglas M. Pastor
St. Clair Shores - Tom P. Frattini
St. Ignace - Donald P. Gustafson
St. Joseph - David J. Buck
St. Louis - Kathleen V. Hutfilz

Toledo - Jon Everhart
Traverse City - Mark E. Stewart
Trenton - Daniel K. Whaley

Wallace - Bruce A. Pearson
Waterford - Mark W. Richer
Westland - Robert W. Allen
White Cloud - Tony A. McHattie
Whitmore Lake - David L. Wint
Wyandotte - Thomas S. Palamara   

Ada - Bryan D. Cullens Jr.
Adrian - Judith A. Walter-Kohn
Albion - Raymond Drysdale
Alpena - David M. Kuznicki

Battle Creek - Steven K. Higgs
Birmingham - Robert S. Stark
Britton - Kenneth W. Kormos
Brooklyn - Michael Timms
Burton - Patrick M. O'Reilly
Byron Center - Andrew J. DeVries

Calumet - Bruce Coppo
Canton - Dennis J. Bostwick
Canton - Terry A. Wash
Carrollton - Ralph S. Gnotek
Chesterfield - Harold T. Younce

Davison - James L. Eastman
Dearborn Heights - Lou Giroux

East Leroy - James Alday

Fenton - Martin R. Covert

Grandville - Pat Folkertsma-Garrett
Grandville - Andrew J. Kovac
Grosse Pointe Park - Mike C. Dempsey

Holland - Bruce E. Kruithoff
Holly - Paul W. Matson
Hudsonville - Allan J. Owens

Lexington - Richard R. Hug
Livonia - Ann K. Hutchins

Macomb - Ronald L. Minoletti
Marquette - Leonard M. Angeli
Middleville - Bruce F. Bender
Milan - Brad D. Susterka
Mio - Edwin L. Cline
Monroe - Eric E. Jenkins
Mt. Pleasant - Dale P. Brecht
Mt. Pleasant - James R. MacLean II
Muskegon - Craig W. Weirich

Newaygo - Dave Baldus
Norway - Milt J. Krznarich

Petoskey - Edward L. Gunderson
Portage - Allan R. Thompson

Rives Junction - Dale A. Baum
Rochester Hills - Tom Delia Jr.
Royal Oak - Byron A. Photiades

Saginaw - Ronald L. Dressler
Saugatuck - Catherine Dritsas
South Haven - Henry L. Allen
Swartz Creek - Larry L. Schutt

Tawas City - Robert L. Ritsema
Troy - Kenyon D. Shively

Warren - Hugh R. Jewell
Waterford - Frederick A. Cohen
Wayland - Norman L. Taylor
Wyoming – H. Joseph Perrin

Canton - Pamela G. Yockey

Dryden - Louis W. Miramonti

Grand Rapids - Robert J. Rodenhouse

Holt - Denny Fulk

Jackson - Dennis K. Lautzenheiser

Lakeport - Donna H. Frohm
Lansing - Donald R. Murray
Lansing - Darwin S. Petersen

Negaunee - Rodney J. Guizzetti Sr.

Portage - William H. Rapley Jr.

Spring Lake - Daniel L. Bouma

Toledo - William J. Lauer

Warren - Dolores A. Marquis

PHOTO: (Top) David Buck officiates a 2013 Class C Boys Basketball Semifinal between Flint Beecher and Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central at the Breslin Center.

Pioneering Competitive Cheer Official Cox to Receive MHSAA Norris Award

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.)