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Story Last modified at 10:49 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Referee stunned, touched by recognition from coaches

On Feb. 26, 2011, I refereed my last high school basketball game for the Cook Inlet Conference. The opponents were Chugiak High and South Anchorage High. A mere quarter century before, I worked my first game at Chugiak. How ironic. I was very happy to see that my last assignment would be Chugiak.

The school and folks who live in the Eagle River-Chugiak area are special to me. I always enjoyed working the games there because of the knowledgeable fans, great kids, and fun-to-work-with coaches. Unfortunately, not all schools are like this. I see the epitome of class and sportsmanship at the Eagle River and Chugiak schools.

The girls game went down to the wire. Coaches Bonnie and Tanya from South, along with Ryan from Chugiak were absolutely great to work with. Coaching to the end, they are class acts. The boys game was equally exciting. Orin, Steve, and Murph from Chugiak, along with Ryan and Joe from South, displayed well-coached teams, and the kids were great.

After the games, I was taken aback by the kindness and generosity of the Chugiak school when they honored me at my last game. I had no idea this was coming. To have the kids from both teams come up and give you a hug and handshake is pretty special. Especially after you just officiated a game when your calls usually please about 50 percent of the fans at any given time.

I will forever cherish that moment. I cannot thank you all, enough. May life continue to be good to you. May all of your jumpshots go down.

– Mike Lyle,


This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.