Ironton officials continue to ‘give back’
In a relationship, there’s both give and take.
The Ironton Basketball Officials’ Chapter of the Ohio High School Athletic Association understands how important that relationship should be between the referees and the players.
Four years ago, the Ironton officials held a grade school basketball tournament that was the brainchild of the late Tommy Pinkerman.
“We’re trying to give back to our community,” said Chuck McKnight, a 25-year veteran official and president of the chapter for the past 14 years.
“At the end of the year, we hold the tournament and give back by presenting theses scholarships. We upped the amount this year to five-thousand dollars.”
The chapter held a tournament and did the officiating. Between gate receipts and sponsors, the tournament has generated $11,000 that has been awarded in scholarships for a boy and girl attending one of the eight high schools in Lawrence County.
McKnight — who was an officiating partner with Pinkerman — said the scholarships are awarded based on several factors, not just being a good basketball players. Students are also judged on academics, community service and character among other things.
A select committee of four people — officials and school teachers — study nominations by the schools’ athletic director, principal or superintendent in order to award the scholarships.
“We’re hoping to increase it next year,” said McKnight.
The scholarship tournament is something that has created a lot of pride among the local officials’ chapter. McKnight had nothing but praise for his contemporaries.
“Our chapter is as good as any chapter in the state of Ohio. I’m proud to say I’m a member of our chapter and I’m proud of the people in our chapter,” said McKnight.
“It’s not that we don’t have our disagreements, but in the end, we just want the same thing. We want what’s best for our communities. When I’m at a chapter meeting, I like to call it home. I appreciated the job the men and women do who are members of our chapter.”
A list of this year’s tournament sponsors appears to the right of this story.
4th Annual Ironton Basketball
Biddy Basketball Tournament
• Fields Welding Supply
• Keyway Automotive
• Guys Floor Covering
• Coal Grove Freezette
• Championship Fastpitch
• Glockner Auto Sales & Service
• Charlies Tire Sales
• Big Sandy
• Rax/Central Hardware
° Jim Howard & Son
• Tomas Walden Insurance
• Hollidays Quik Stop (DeAnna Holliday)
• Buckeye Monument
• L & J Coal Grove
• Freddie Hayes
• Sherman-Kricker Insurance
• Southern Ohio Trenching and Excavating
• Beast of the Southeast
•Gilmore Gloss Girls Lipsense
• Coal Grove Foodfair
• Coal Grove Giovannis
• Leo’s Carryout — Bobby Ackerman
• The Printing Express