Norris Honoree Adding to 60-Year Legacy
Norris Honoree Adding to 60-Year Legacy
Officials
Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2020

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

One of many who recommended Saginaw's Hugh Matson for this year's Vern L. Norris Award called him "an interscholastic icon" and what "high school athletics should be all about." 

Already recognized prestigiously for his leadership as a coach and administrator, Matson made lasting impacts on Michigan high school sports serving those duties over a career stretching four decades. 

And more than 20 years after retiring from that work, Matson’s contributions to school sports continue in another key role. He has been selected as this year’s honoree for the MHSAA's Norris Award as he celebrates his 50th school year as an MHSAA-registered contest official.

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.

Matson is the second honoree in MHSAA history to receive both the Norris and Charles E. Forsythe Award, the latter presented to Matson in 2015 for his overall contributions to interscholastic athletics. Matson joined Kalamazoo’s Blake Hagman, who received the Norris Award in 1998 and the Forsythe Award in 2000.

Matson was to be honored with his Norris Award this month at the MHSAA’s 41st Officials’ Awards & Alumni Banquet. However, the banquet was canceled due to safety concerns because of COVID-19, and he instead will be invited to accept his award formally at the 2021 banquet.

Matson first registered with the MHSAA to officiate track & field and cross country during the 1970-71 school year and has officiated combined more than 800 meets in those sports – including more than 20 Regionals and nearly 20 MHSAA Finals. He also has officiated cross country and track & field at the Division I, II and III and NAIA collegiate levels.

His career in education began when Matson took his first teaching job in 1957, at Mattawan. He then moved to Saginaw Township Community Schools, teaching and coaching at Saginaw MacArthur High School from 1962-71 and then Saginaw Eisenhower from 1971-88. Matson served as head varsity football and track & field coach at Mattawan and as head track & field coach at both MacArthur and Eisenhower, in addition to serving as an assistant football coach at both schools. He became the first and only athletic director in Eisenhower’s history – holding that position from the school’s first day during the 1970-71 school year until the end of the 1987-88 school year, when he became co-athletic director of the new Saginaw Heritage High School, which was created from a merger of MacArthur and Eisenhower. Matson served as the sole full-time athletic director of Heritage for 1996-97 before retiring.  

“When I started, I knew wanted to be a coach; I didn’t know for sure if I wanted to be a teacher. But I found out teaching and coaching are really the same thing, and I enjoyed the teaching as much as the coaching. Then I found out that officiating is much the same,” Matson said. “I enjoy the kids. One of the things that warms my heart is when a kid will come up and say, ‘Thanks for officiating.’ Officiating is all just part of working with kids as I did as a coach and as I did as a teacher.”

Matson has been a member of the Association of Track Officials of Michigan (ATOM) since 1993 and received its 2009-10 Art Jevert/Bruce Jacobs Distinguished Service Award. He also received the Chuck Wheeker Volunteer of the Year Award from Saginaw Valley State University track & field in 2012 and the USA Track & Field (USATF) National Officials Committee Outstanding Service Award in 2014. He received designation as a Certified Master-level starter by USATF in 2000.  

He has served as a volunteer track starter for SVSU and as a volunteer official for middle and high school meets as part of the Michigan Indoor Track Series, both since 1997.

While an athletic director, Matson was a member of the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) from 1970-97 and served as its president during the 1989-90 school year. He was a member of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) from 1980-97 and served as a representative and speaker for the MIAAA at regional conferences in Iowa and Wisconsin and to the NIAAA Leadership Forum in 1987. Matson was named to the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

“The same attributes that made Hugh Matson a beloved teacher, coach and athletic director have made him beloved to the officiating community as well,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “His selflessness and dedication continues to shine through in his mentorship of officials, as well as athletes and coaches, and his guidance and insights continue to benefit the track & field and cross country communities statewide.”

Coincidentally, Matson had crossed paths with both men whose awards he has received before beginning his career in education. Matson was a sophomore on the 1951 Newaygo boys basketball team that reached the Class D Semifinals and was greeted in East Lansing by Forsythe. And as a senior at Western Michigan University, Matson received advising from Norris, who was working in the placement office at the time. Matson then did his student teaching at Godwin Heights, Norris' alma mater.

Matson graduated from Newaygo in 1953, having earned 13 varsity letters over four sports – football, basketball, baseball and track. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education with minors in English and history in 1957 from WMU.

He taught English and history at Mattawan, and then English and physical education during his three tenures as part of Saginaw Township Community Schools. Matson remains an active member of First Congregational Church in Saginaw, having served as an usher for more than 50 years, as a board member and as part of a breakfast club serving local homeless.

He's been married to his wife Jackie for 59 years, and together they have two daughters. 

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
2019 – David Buck, St. Joseph

High school game officials with 20, 30, 40, 45 and 50 years of service also are being honored with service awards. Twenty-three officials with 50 years of service are being honored, along with 55 officials with 45 years. A 40-year award is being presented to 55 officials. In addition, 108 officials with 30 years and 181 officials with 20 years of experience are being honored.

MICHIGAN HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
20, 30, 40, 45 & 50-YEAR OFFICIALS
 

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

20-YEAR OFFICIALS

 

Ada - Michael D. Packard

Adrian - Keith J. Zubke
Allen Park - Julie A. Goodwin
Alpena - Ian K. Lundquist
Ann Arbor - Nancy E. Brucken
Auburn Hills - Frank Benion Jr. 

 

Bath - Ruth J. Miehlke
Battle Creek - Jack McCulley
Battle Creek - Michael W. Smith
Battle Creek - Levi R. Watkins
Bay City - Jason R. Andrzejewski
Bay City - James J. Fitrakis
Bay City - Thomas L. Oleniacz
Bellevue - Stanley L. Guzy
Benton Harbor - Denny L. Edwards
Benzonia - James R. Sheets
Bessemer - Tony Gheller
Bessemer - Mark L. Movrich
Beulah - Jeffrey T. Bretzke
Beulah - Dennis J. Keeney
Birmingham - Patricia M. Hayes
Bloomfield Hills - Eric T. Seifert
Brighton - Jennifer J. Brown
Brighton - Jeffrey J. Houtteman 

 

Cadillac - Kyle J. Hondorp
Caledonia - Timothy J. Restau
Canton - Makia D. Alexander
Canton - Gregory S. Santilli
Canton - Kevin W. Winningham
Cedarville - Charles G. Paquin Jr.
Charlotte - Eric C. Frohriep
Clinton Township - William R. Blickensdorf
Clio - Tim C. Ashbury
Clio - Gene VanAlst
Coleman - Jerry R. Evans
Commerce Township - Ronald J. Eberline
Crystal Falls - Jason W. Price 

 

Daggett - Richard J. Dietz
Davisburg - Paul E. Knudson
Davison - Thomas M. Dowdall
Dearborn - Dave Deckert
Dearborn Heights - Gerald P. Boudreaux
Dearborn Heights - Bennie C. Roach
Detroit - Aaron F. McDaniel
Detroit - W. James Pierce
Dorr - James R. Graham
Dowagiac - Ronald A. Gunn 

 

Eau Claire - Lance E. Green
Elsie - Nathan R. Taylor 

 

Farmington - Timothy A. Fino
Farmington Hills - Katherine E. Williams
Fenton - Eric R. Golota
Fenton - Thomas C. Ureche Jr.
Flat Rock - Douglas R. Hill
Flint - Gregory T. Folsom
Flint - Arden P. Irwin
Flint - Floyd B. Williams
Flushing - Caron M. Sullivan
Fort Gratiot - Todd A. Kackman
Fowlerville - Robert G. Myers
Fremont - Paulette J. Moon 

 

Gladwin - Art J. Adamec Jr.
Gowen - Patrick M. Cain
Grand Blanc - Jared R. Hoffmeyer
Grand Blanc - Scott C. Smith
Grand Haven - Daniel R. Holt
Grand Ledge - Marvin E. Hardy Jr.
Grand Rapids - Greg T. Adams
Grand Rapids - Burton J. Cook
Grand Rapids - Thomas C. Emery
Grand Rapids - James H. Fellinger
Grand Rapids - Bruce L. Hull
Grand Rapids - Richard G. Koperski
Grand Rapids - Scott A. Maternowski
Grand Rapids - Kelly A. Richardson
Grosse Pointe - Allan Diver 

 

Hamilton - Douglas W. Braschler
Hanover - Donald M. Bergstrom
Harrison Township - David B. Jones
Haslett - David R. Miller
Holland - Brian E. Burtch
Holland - Walter C. Lamb
Hudsonville - Mike S. Bartosiewicz
Huntington Woods - Gary R. Schack 

 

Iron Mountain - Ryan C. Gordon
Irons - Thomas R. Batista
Ironwood - Judy Cisewski
Ironwood - Ted E. Sim
Ishpeming - Adam J. Bergman 

 

Jackson - Pete J. Ambs
Jackson - Eric L. Baldwin
Jackson - Larry E. Owens Jr.
Jenison - Mark E. Heagle 

 

Kalamazoo - Karen L. Asch
Kalamazoo - John M. McBride
Kalamazoo - Larry A. Morrell 

 

Laingsburg - David M. Barnhill
Lake Odessa - Phillip J. Whitcomb

Lansing - Elliotte Love
Lansing - Daniel W. Mausolf
Lansing - Calvin G. Sanders
Livonia - Michael C. Cushman
Livonia - Michael J. Smith
Livonia – Bill Williams
Ludington - James T. Nordlund
Luther - Robert L. Rose

 

Macomb - Daniel P. Westfall
Manistique - Mark A. Giannunzio
Manistique - Barbara A. Landis
Maple City - Lawrence R. Olsen
Marshall - Toby L. Crull
Mason - Philip S. Nardone
Mendon - Kenneth R. Blough
Mendon - Shawn D. Griffith
Michigan Center - George A. Wyers
Midland - Jill A. Bertuleit
Midland - Carl H. Smith
Monroe - Ronald P. Coury
Monroe - Paul N. Howey
Monroe - Tracy L. Yeary
Moran - Mitchell J. Perry
Muskegon - Bob Covert
Muskegon - Thomas J. Nichols Jr. 

 

Negaunee - Michael F. Leanes
Negaunee - Jeffrey A. Marshall
New Baltimore - David A. Koch Sr.
North Muskegon - Gene A. Hyrns
Norton Shores - Kirk C. Antekeier 

 

Okemos - Robert Ianni
Olivet - Dana S. Higgins
Owosso - Mike W. Valasek 

 

Parma - Douglas D. Higelmire
Petoskey - Joseph R. Malec
Plymouth - Kara M. Burns
Plymouth - Jay D. Buelow
Pontiac - Troy F. Craft
Port Huron - Mitchell J. Nichols
Portage - Dustin J. Ruthven Sr.
Prescott - Gary A. Ragels 

 

Riverview - Joseph S. Murnane
Rochester - Gary M. Cook
Rochester Hills - Peter D. Oudsema
Roseville - Wayne Cupp
Royal Oak - Michael F. Henahan Jr 

 

Saginaw - Michael J. Fick
Saginaw - Charles F. Lydy
Saginaw - Clarence A. Thompson
Saline - Gary S. Quantock
Shepherd - Michelle E. Turpin
Sheridan - Randy A. Freed
Southfield - Quincey J. Price
St. Ignace - Doug J. Ingalls
St. Joseph - John K. Carr
Stanton - Thomas M. Wall
Stanwood - Doug VanSyckle
Sterling Heights - Ronald M. Camilletti
Sterling Heights - Jon Caran
Sterling Heights - Gratian P. Moldovan
Sterling Heights - Dean Ristovski
Sterling Heights - Tyrone Smith
Stevensville - Brandon D. Stacey
Sturgis - Kenneth A. Schau
Sylvania - Bruce E. Ralston 

 

Taylor - Mark X. Rigotti
Tecumseh - Sarah S. Eubanks
Three Rivers - Tom L. Muckel
Traverse City - Bruce E. Falberg
Traverse City - Scott C. Jones
Traverse City - Kenneth J. Knudsen
Tustin - Jerry A. Nelson 

 

Vicksburg - Neil E. Kreamalmeyer

 

Warren - Darrell Brown
Warren - Chad C. Davinich
Warren - Milissa A. Schell
Warren - Mark W. Sullwold
Williamsburg - Mark D. Stormzand
Wyandotte - Scott F. Neifert
Wyoming - Roger L. Bouma
Wyoming - Frits J. Hoekstra 

 

Ypsilanti - Thomas D. Biggs
Ypsilanti - Richard J. Mull 


30-YEAR OFFICIALS  

 

Allen Park - Lisa S. Lee
Alma - Pamela J. Hanson-Bender
Alpena - Joseph M. Garant
Ann Arbor - Larry T. Kenyon 

 

Bay City - Kevin J. Sinicki
Blissfield - Ronald A. Gentz
Brooklyn - Charles A. Janke
Brownstown Township - Joseph C. Barzo
Brownstown Township - Jim M. Joseph
Buchanan - Francis M. Brown
Byron - David A. Czerniakowski 

 

Cadillac - Douglas E. McGiness
Cadillac - Kevin L. Taylor
Caledonia - David C. Dzierzyc
Carson City - Ted A. Kelly
Carson City - Arthur G. Kurtze III
Chesterfield - Douglas P. Stark
Clark Lake - John J. Jimenez
Clinton Township - Clifford S. Bliss
Coldwater - Brien S. Kelly
Coldwater - William M. Peiffer
Columbiaville - Donald W. Gordon 

 

Dearborn Heights - David P. Mann
Delton - Katherine R. Dolfman
Detroit - Darren F. Ford 

 

East Lansing - Douglas D. Ripley 

 

Farmington Hills - Jack G. Light
Farwell - Patrick H. Uhrig
Fenton - Dan A. Reason
Flushing - Neil T. McCarthy
Fraser - Thomas A. Suminski
Freeland - Dennis J. Argyle 

 

Gladstone - Jeffrey D. Diebolt
Grand Blanc - James M. Brigance
Grand Blanc - Michael E. Fair
Grand Blanc - David J. Griffel
Grand Rapids - Don L. Buchholz
Grand Rapids - Daryl S. Henderson
Grand Rapids - James F. Jakubowski
Grand Rapids - Scott W. Markham
Grayling - David K. Latusek 

 

Hamilton - John A. Wood
Hart - Victor N. Salazar
Haslett - Lisa M. Bain
Highland Park - Melvin D. George
Holland - Christine E. Durham
Holland - Kevin E. VanderHulst 

 

Iron Mountain - George D. Pond
Ithaca - Bradley D. Peet Sr. 

 

Jackson - Shawn C. Spitler
Jenison - Steven C. Warber 

 

Kalamazoo - Richard A. Hurdelbrink
Kalamazoo - Steven J. Nuyen
Kentwood - Christopher T. Maday
Kingsford - Mark E. Shanks 

 

Laingsburg - Thomas A. Rourke
Lansing - Justin E. Terry
Lansing - Amy L. Willing
Leonard - Thomas F. Kmita
Lincoln - Brad D. Cole

 

Macomb - Thomas M. Heabeart
Macomb - Kyle J. Plutschuck
Marquette - Bruce A. Tiseo
Marysville - W. Randy Jacobs
Mesick - Paul W. Osborne
Midland - Oliver G. Myers
Monroe - David H. Gelwicks
Monroe - John C. Hilken
Mt. Morris - Robert F. Sunday
Muskegon - Theo R. Burrel
Muskegon - Timothy A. Cook 

 

New Boston - Wayne C. Hamilton
Newport - Glen A. Scafidi
North Muskegon - Daniel L. Millhisler
Northville - Robert P. Juhasz 

 

Olivet - Lonnie L. Spencer
Onsted - William M. Bayko
Onsted - Robert Wright
Ortonville - Franklin E. Olson
Owosso - Gary W. Barta 

 

Port Sanilac - Dan Dean 

 

Ray - Danny P. Kuskowski
Riverview - Benjamin Madero
Romulus - A. Terry Brinston
Royal Oak - Ronald G. Buchanan

 

Saginaw - Daniel L. Houston Sr.
Saginaw - Robert C. Kubczak
Saline - Kirk D. Spangler
Scottville - Stacey R. Swiatlowski
Shelby Township - Lawrence Gerbe
Shelby Township - Jeffrey P. Sandora
Sidney - James R. White
South Bend - David P. Sexton
Southfield - Anthony W. Johnson
St. Clair Shores - John W. Hartley Jr.
St. Joseph - Patrick J. Clark
Stalwart - Barbra A. Storey
Sumner - Jeff D. Rowley 

 

Three Rivers - Bruce E. Mastny
Traverse City - James P. Barbera
Traverse City - Peter J. Garthe 

 

Vassar - Matthew J. Cox
Vassar - Mark A. Schoenow 

 

Washington Township - Peter J. Friedrich
Westland - Richard W. Kus
Westland - Thomas E. Mallon
Wixom - Lawrence W. Grant
Wyandotte - David A. Maloney 


40-YEAR OFFICIALS

 

Bad Axe - Paul A. Binder
Berkley - Sheila M. Homic
Blissfield - Christopher L. Bates
Brimley - Jerald P. Cook 

 

Calumet - Daniel W. Junttila
Champion - Gary P. O'Brien
Clarksville - Jim D. Johnson 

 

Dearborn Heights - Kevin P. Kabacinski
Decatur - Patrick L. Boitnott
Delta - William H. Wiseman
Detroit - James E. Briggs
Dundee - Karl J. Schmidt 

 

Farmington Hills - Mark J. Kronk
Ferndale - Bradford D. Skauge
Flint - James V. Newell
Fremont - James M. Goorhouse
Fruitport - George L. Frederick 

 

Gaylord - Paul B. Holmes
Grand Blanc - Douglas W. Tipton
Grand Haven - Richard W. Lott
Grosse Pointe Woods - Robert E. Zaranek 

 

Harbor Beach - Steven M. Linn
Hillsdale - Bruce Caswell
Hudson - Fred C. Bowers
Hudson - Patrick W. Wollet
Hudsonville - Bob C. Wojcik 

 

Iron Mountain - John R. Pucci

 

Kalamazoo - James L. Ketelaar

 

Lansing - Sam L. Davis
Lansing - Eric D. Wills
Lansing - Donald J. Yuvan
Ludington - David L. Wright 

 

Madison Heights - Marie S. Bessler
Madison Heights - Richard Hillman
Manistee - David A. Nemecek
Marshall - David N. Benham
Marysville - Joel P. Venia
Mattawan - David W. Breithaupt
Muskegon - Charles M. VanDongen 

 

Niles - Michael J. Nate

 

Okemos - John H. Garrison
Onsted - Kathi Frank 

 

Pinckney - David D. Sontag

 

Redford - Gregory J. Smetek
Richland - Thomas D. Cox
Rockford - Timothy G. Erickson 

 

Saginaw - Roberta A. Beyerlein
Scottville - Rodney D. Marshall 

 

Temperance - Randall A. Sehl
Trenton - Frederick L. Bruley

 

Vicksburg - Timothy A. Baker

 

Waterford - Douglas E. Zimmerman
West Bloomfield - Benjamin R. Armstrong
Westland - Donna J. Strang 

 

Zeeland - Marvin F. Hinga


45-YEAR OFFICIALS

 

Ann Arbor - Jack L. Coffey

 

Battle Creek - Kendall A. Lewis
Bay City - Thomas F. Cole
Berrien Springs - Timothy A. Krieger
Boyne City - Kirk D. Kujawski
Brighton - Bill T. Rubin
Brownstown Township - Joseph A. McCormick 

 

Caledonia - Edward T. Hedgecock
Caledonia - Tom A. Hoffman
Canton - John A. Davidson
Caseville - Barry L. Zinger
Clark Lake - Robert L. McComb Jr.
Clarkston - Eugene R. English Jr.
Clarksville - David A. Mersman
Clawson - Betty A. Wroubel 

 

Detroit - Lawrence D. Freeman
Detroit - Billy L. Waters
Dowagiac - William L. Brooks 

 

Flushing - Edwin H. McKimmy

 

Grand Rapids - Robert G. Galvin
Grand Rapids - Dirk E. Pegman
Grand Rapids - Jeanne L. Skinner
Grayling - Thomas A. Kemp
Grosse Ile - James R. Knopp 

 

Haslett - David E. Gillison
Hemlock - Rudy Godefroidt
Howell - L. Lee Piepho
Howell - Dennis M. Troshak

 

Ironwood - James K. Krznarich

 

Jackson - Michael C. French 

 

Kent City - Robert J. Sarachman
Kentwood - Betty J. Near 

 

Lansing - Ken J. Sudall 

 

Manistee - Michael J. Gielczyk
Manton - Burton Harrison
Marysville - Mark A. Brochu
Mason - Victor T. Cena
Michigan Center - Charles D. Sprang
Muskegon - James A. Goorman 

 

Negaunee - Steven R. Ayotte

 

Ontonagon - Eugene Fiszer

 

Pittsford - Chuck Pelham

 

Rogers City - Gerald Purgiel
Royal Oak - Carol A. Sheldon 

 

Smiths Creek - Jud D. Kastner
Southfield - Thomas R. Sullivan Jr.
St. Clair Shores - Thomas L. Driscoll
St. Clair Shores - Fusako Hines 

 

Taylor - Terry H. Styer
Tekonsha - Daniel A. Washburn
Trenton - Robert Bolak
Trenton - Evelyn Langlands 

 

Vicksburg - Richard L. Simon 

 

Whitmore Lake - Charles E. Lindsay
Wyandotte - Michael R. McMahon 


50-YEAR OFFICIALS

 

Byron Center - Joe A. Zomerlei

 

Cheboygan - William B. Watkins
Clio - Anthony J. Leonardo
Custer - Edward C. Miller 

 

Essexville - Donald A. Rose Sr. 

 

Hudson - Michael A. McCullough 

 

Ishpeming - David J. St. Onge

 

Kingsford - Joseph R. Reddinger 

 

Lowell - Curtis J. Cummings 

 

Monroe - Albert M. Fernandez
Muskegon - Larry T. Vaandering 

 

New Baltimore - James C. Cleverley 

 

Okemos - Tom Woiwode
Onsted - John M. Springer 

 

Redford - Robert J. Williams

Royal Oak - Paul M. Engelberts 

 

Saginaw - Hugh R. Matson
Sanford - Charles P. Russian
Shelby Township - Frank A. Talerico 

 

Vassar - H. Dan Johnson 

 

Walker - Dennis J. Rothenthaler
Waterford - Burton Hurshe
Wyoming - Daniel J. Schultz


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