Luncheon will honor sporting officials

Luncheon will honor sporting officials The first annual South Dakota Sports Officials Advisory Council Honor Luncheon will be held Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Mitchell Holiday Inn according to Council President Buck Timmons of Mitchell.

Sports officials from throughout the state will be recognized for 25 and 15 years of officiating service in the high school ranks with plaques, certificates and service pins. The state National Federation of Interscholatic Officials Association (NFIOA) award winners for boys and girls basketball, football, gymnastics, track and field, volleyball and wrestling will also be recognized according to Timmons.

"This is a historic first for South Dakota," said Timmons, a high school and college football and basketball official. "It's time we take note of these men and women who devote a significant amount of their personal time to making high school athletics part of a successful education curriculum."

In addition, Colin Kapitan, Yankton will be honored for his selection as the NFIOA National Distinguished Official of the Year for 1999. Kapitan, who has officiated for over 40 years, at the high school and college level throughout the upper midwest is the first South Dakotan to receive the national honor. His selection was recently announced at the National Federation Leadership Meeting in Kansas City on May 2.

Another South Dakota officiating "legend" Dave Prohl of Castlewood will be the luncheon speaker.

Timmons, who is the second president of the council, said this is one of several efforts to recruit and train new officials and recognize and retain veteran officials.

"Every year, fewer people are willing to devote themselves to sport officiating. We hope by recognizing their service, more officials will stay with the sport longer," Timmons said.

In addition to the honor luncheon, the council sponsors clinics and jamborees to train officials, works with college classes to teach fundamentals of sports officiating and recently presented a Code of Ethics to the South Dakota High School Activities Association for adoption.

Other members of the council include: Ellen Steever, Lennox; Lori Krier, Mitchell; Keith Kusler, Aberdeen; Rich Rockafellow, Geddes; Clair Donovan, Spearfish; Colin Kapitan, executive director, Yankton; Dana Nelson, secretary, Yankton; and, Don Behrend, treasurer, Brookings.

For more information or reservations for the luncheon, contact Ellen Steever, 46360 279th St., Lennox, SD 57039, 605-647-2917.

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