Category Archives: Recognition

2021 NBUA Banquet Recap

Fellow Umpires,

As you know, the NBUA 2021 banquet and golf tournament was held Saturday, September 18th at Maplewood CC.

The evening was fun and yet a bit poignant since we were honoring Leslie Fitzpatrick, our NBUA assignor for 18 years, as she officially retires from NBUA.

Most of us have known no other assignor until Mark Clough transitioned into the role this year. While Mark has done a very fine job, especially considering the changes to school AD’s inputting games (a real furball) and the Arbiter pay system to monitor and verify (more fur), but there will never be another Leslie.

Joe Townsend was our keynote speaker and could not have been surpassed as one whose experience as a long-time coach and player, love of the game, passion for instilling respect and virtue in our young players and integrity qualified him for the role.

Thank you, Leslie and thank you, Joe.

Very important events of the evening were the announcement of promotions and the 2021 awards.

Promotions for this year are are listed in a previous post

It is important to note that most of the apprentices that were promoted to C-Tier this year started in 2020 and took that year’s training. With almost no games in 2020, they were moved to a special category of “Apprentice II” and had to wait another year — and another Apprentice/C training — to get on the field enough to move to a well-deserved C Tier. I personally, and all NBUA members, thank you for hanging in there.

Every year, NBUA honors our own for their outstanding service. Several awards are named after those who, over their years of tenure with NBUA, have inspired their fellow umpires and given their all to our association.

This year, one of our more important awards was honored by being named after one such person. The Rookie of the Year award was renamed the “Leslie Fitzpatrick Rookie of the Year Award” and shall be so in perpetuity. Leslie always looked after our new umpires as they are the future of our association. If a new umpire contacted her with an issue it was dealt with immediately. She was a unique example of strength and discipline tempered with empathy.

Leslie Fitzpatrick Rookie of the YearChris Castro

Every year, the assignor selects an umpire from each tier who have done many games and have also always been available to get to games “anywhere, anytime, any game”.

Umpire of the YearC Tier Marc Kaye
Umpire of the YearB Tier Bill Guest
Umpire of the YearA Tier John Leeper

The following award’s criteria were read at the banquet and honor exemplary service to us, the members of NBUA. Past recipients are listed on our website under “Members” and “Awards”.

George Eshelman Umpire of the Year Brian Tschumper

Brian Gooch Distinguished Service       Bill Fitzgerald and Bill Lewis (Da Bills)

Unsung Hero Award                                  Paul Kahle

Jack Miller Customer of the year          Puget Sound Senior Baseball League

                                                                        Tom Krause, President


Golf Tournament Results:

Due to a variety of circumstances, including weather, we had a small turnout of only 5 foursomes.

Despite torrential rain at times, Jeff Jacobson’s team of his son, Aaron, Dale Dolejsi (coach at Kennedy Catholic and Coach of the Year awardee of 2019) and Adrian Bagley stuck it out and were the only finishers at 5 under par. The winning team of the 2021 NBUA Golf Tournament!

The Longest Drive was won by Kevin Spear, our umpire Mike Spear’s son. Way to go, Kevin!


That’s all for now but if any NBUA news crops up, please call me and keep me informed. This is OUR association and it takes all of us to make it carry on and grow better.

Thank you to each of you, my Umpire Brethren!

For your NBUA Board of Directors,

Peyton Coffin

206 280 8633

Member Services and Communication

2019 NBUA Banquet recap

The weather was fantastic, the people were great, and the banquet concluded with a warm and familiar toast from emcee Jay Neff. About 100 members and guests attended the banquet on Saturday evening and were treated to the announcements of promotions and award winners and a rousing tribute to Chuck McQuery.
After 31 years with NBUA, working more than 32,000 innings, seeing more than 1.2 million pitches, officiating with more than 500 different partners, and driving more than 65,000 miles in the Puget Sound area, Chuck has decided to move, full time, to Arizona. A man of great moral character who was there for the right reasons is one way a fellow umpire described him. Chuck, you’ll be greatly missed and NBUA wishes you the best. Come back and work a few games when it is too hot in AZ!
Award winners included Allen Christie (George Eschelman Umpire of the Year), Dave Johnson (Unsung Hero), Lakeside Industries (Jack Miller Customer of the Year), Dale Dolesji from Kennedy Catholic High School (High School Varsity Coach of the Year), Lane Loland (Rookie of the Year), Steve Mueller, Dale Wilson and Tim Stever (C, B, and A Tier Assignor Awards), and Hank Margeson (Brian Gooch Distinguish Service).
The promotions were many and well deserved. To see the list of promotions see the following post. Congratulations to all of the umpires that got promoted and thank you for your hard work and dedication to improving your skills and knowledge of the game.
A special thank you goes out to everyone that helped in making this a memorable and successful evening. Tim Stever for his audio and DJ skills, Jody Clough for the table centerpieces, Jay Neff for his excellent emcee duties, Mark Clough for a lot of things but most importantly putting the evening’s presentation together, Sondra Stever for helping set up and clean up the room, Leslie Fitzpatrick for organizing the golf tournament and taking care of the raffle prizes. And lastly, thank you to all who showed up and celebrated another successful season of umpiring.
Until next year, have a safe and happy off-season.

Allen Christie
Chair, Member Services and Communications Committee

2019 NBUA Promotions

The 2019 NBUA promotions were announced at the Annual Banquet on Saturday night.  Congratulations to those that got promoted and please congratulate your fellow umpires that moved up.

Apprentice to C Tier

Jim Berg

Tyler Alberts

Tom Niccoli

Mike Spears

John Norris

Daniel Borgida

Carl-Michael Aoanan

Kyle Nilson

Kurt Nilson

Keith Smith

Mark Kaye

West Hanold

Jim Duwe

Jim Jeffries

Paul Reynolds

Luis Tejada

Lane Loland

Ryan Grenn

C Tier to B Tier

Scott Allen

William Guest

Michael Lauritzen

Jim Melrose

Andy Null

Dave Richardson

B Tier to A Tier

Jeff Borgida

JC Cowan

Chet Morgan

Mark Snyder

Paul Williams

Dale Wilson

A Tier to Tournament Tier

Phil Bogardus

Cody Curnutt

John Matson

Earl Smith

Tim Stever

Chris VonJouanne

Henry VonJouanne

Ryan Wilson

Dale Dolejsi 2019 HSVCOY

Congratulations to Coach Dale Dolejsi from Kennedy Catholic High School for being selected as the NBUA 2019 High School Varsity Coach of the Year award recipient.  There were seven worthy candidates for the award this year and Coach Dale came out on top by a few votes.  A plaque and an invitation to join us at the annual banquet on September 21st at Maplewood Golf Course were given to Dale at the Kennedy Catholic Spring sports banquet on Tuesday May 28th by Allen Christie.  It was a little different from other presentations because it was done in front of the entire Spring sports athletes and parents (about 300 people).  Dale is a beloved art teacher at Kennedy and has been the head coach for baseball for six years.  He was genuinely humbled by the award and had very respectful things to say to the student athletes and parents about sports officials.  He said he will definitely be joining us at the banquet and will be playing golf.  After all, he used to work at Maplewood Golf Course.

Thank you to all of you who participated in this nomination and voting process.  Your selection of an award winner means a lot to the coach and the school and generates a lot of good will between NBUA and our customers


2018 Award Winners and Promotions

On Saturday September 15th, NBUA held its annual banquet to celebrate the 2018 baseball season and to bestow awards on deserving umpires and to promote umpires to higher tiers. Many thanks go out to those that helped make this a wonderful event. Jody Clough made beautiful flower arrangements for each table, Tim Stever provided great music throughout the evening, Wes Behrend handed out name tags, Mark Clough put together the awards presentation and Jay Neff kept us on schedule as the emcee. Thanks also goes out to all of the guests and significant others who put up with us during the year and allow us to do what we do.
The day started off with with our golf tournament, organized by Leslie, which was won by the foursome of Tony Amado, Scott Guhlke, Chris Hinton, and Don Warfield. Ernesto Avelar won the Closest to the Pin competition and Zach Habben (Mt Si High School) won the Longest Drive competition.

Award winners were:
George Eshelman Umpire of the Year– Henry VonJouanne
Brian Gooch Distinguished Service Award– Rich Johnson
Unsung Hero Award– Peyton Coffin
Rookie of the Year – Dave Richardson and Jim Melrose
Jack Miller Customer of the Year Award – Darrel Sakamoto – Taylor Baseball

Assignor Awards:
C Tier – Ron Klamert
B Tier – JC Cowan
A Tier – Mark Clough

Promotions from Apprentice to “C” Tier
Josh Brookshier
Alex Evenson
Mac Clark
Michael McGuire
Glen Cushman
Michael Lauritzen
Scott Allen
Dave Richardson
James Melrose
David Koon
Andrew Null
Steven Mueller
Russ Sarbora
Michael Shaw

Promotions from “C” Tier to “B” Tier:
Craig Cawelti
David Jaffe
Pete Perry
Ron Klamert
Jaime Archibald

Promotions from “B” Tier to “A” Tier:
Paul Garifalon
Brian Tschumper
Michael Opprecht
Timothy Sullivan
John Hennessey
Wesley Behrend

Promotion from “A” Tier to Tournament Tier:
Ron Beal

Congratulations to all the award and promotion recipients. It was (and still is) a great season and I hope everyone had a good time.

Allen Christie
Chair, Member Services and Communication Committee
Northwest Baseball Umpires Association

2017 Awards and Promotions

Thank you to all the members and guests that braved the chilly annual NBUA Banquet on Saturday October 14th. It was a great night to celebrate the season and give recognition to the outstanding achievements by our membership. Thanks to the emcee skills of Jay Neff, the musical talents of Tim Stever, the organizational and operational effort by Mark Clough, greeting skills of Mark and Sandi Snyder, decorating skills of Jodi Clough and Leslie Fitzpatrick, and a moving speech by our High School Coach of the Year Mike Brundage we concluded the challenging season with a bang.
Below is a recap of the award recipients and members who were promoted.

Congratulations to all who received an award or were promoted!

Assignor Tier Awards
C Tier – Dale Wilson
B Tier – Wes Behrend
A Tier – Bill Coyne

Jack Miller Customer of the Year Award
Martin Lawrence GM of Northwest Honkers

High School Varsity Coach of the Year Award
Mike Brundage, Hazen High School

Rookie of the Year Award
Spencer Kim

Brian Gooch Distinguished Service Award
Vern Dahl

George Eschelman Umpire of the Year Award
Glenn Campbell


Apprentice to C Tier
Gabe Brookshier
Chris Burris
Carl Done
Pete Perry
Connor Reid
Kyle Sickles
Craig Sweet

Apprentice to B Tier
Aaron Bussiere
Spencer Kim

C Tier to B Tier
Kevin Corbett
Theodore Corpuz
Paul Glahn
Dwayne Helgeson
Ted Jones
Chet Morgan
Mark Snyder
Lance Wallace
Dale Wilson

B Tier to A Tier
Cody Curnutt
Chris Deluze
Jeff Jacobson
Paul Kahle
Mike MacKinnon
John Moore
Don Warfield

A Tier to Tournament Tier
Ben Bayer
Allen Christie
Jeff Evenson
Dan Graves
Josh Lobeck
Kirk Struble

NBUA honors Shea Tonkin, 2016 Varsity Coach of the Year

Recently it was our honor to be able to attend the year end baseball banquet for Roosevelt High School in a very nice setting at a park on the shores of Lake Washington with Mt Rainier as the backdrop with parents, coaches, and ballplayers as they were using this time to celebrate another great year of Roosevelt Roughrider baseball.

I was joined by Hank Margeson (President), Mark Clough, and 2014 HSVCOY recipient and proud dad, Wyatt Tonkin. We were met by James Simone, parent rep at the Windermere Beach

As we walked across the field, everybody was thoroughly engrossed in their food and no one fortunately even noticed me. It was at this point that James Simone introduced me and I stepped to the forward and introduced myself. It was a beautiful evening and quite the setting overlooking Lake Washington across to Mt Rainier.

I only spoke for a couple of minutes letting the ballplayers, coaches, and parents know what this award is and what it means to us. I spoke of extension of the classroom, honor, integrity, as well as a very positive attitude towards his players.

I kind of went back a little in history reminding them of our great past recipient HSVCOY’s had been. Of significant importantance was history being made by now having a father and son as recipients and pointed out Wyatt Tonkin (Shorewood Varsity Head Coach and 2014 HSVCOY). I then announced our recipient for this years prestigious award for the 2016 High School Varsity Coach of the Year as their coach, Shea Tonkin.

One of the things that has been the mainstay of this award is the secrecy for not only the recipient but their reaction as well as all the past award recipients. This year was no exception as Coach Shea Tonkin was obviously moved to being speechless.

After Coach Shea Tonkin was finally able to regain his composure, he thanked our association for this award, and most importantly thanking his kids for without them none of this would be possible. He loves the game, the students, and yes, even the umpires. Please, next time you see him, let him know how proud we are to share the field with him.

Thank you all for your participation and desire to make this program succeed. Without you we wouldn’t have any High School Varsity Coach of the Year recognition.

By Jay Neff
Member Services Committee

Post Season Assignments Announced

This was probably one of the best school ball season anybody can remember in a very long time. There was hardly any rain and certainly not near the amount of rainouts or cancellations as we are used to each spring. As we close out the 2016 high school season, we turn to post season and regional and state playoffs to determine the best in the state. The NBUA once again, will be well represented around the state in the 2016 WIAA State Regional and State Final Baseball Tournaments as well as NWAC college playoffs and finals. In a statement released by the WIAA this week, the following NBUA umpires will be working post-season in high school baseball. NWAC has also announced their slate of college playoffs umpires. Congratulations to all these well deserving umpires and good luck to them all!

May 21 Regionals:
Jim Dodson, 4A, Heidelberg Sports Complex, Tacoma
Kim Stover, 4A, Heritage Field, Puyallup
Jeremiah Jourdan, 3A, Bannerwood Park, Bellevue
Bill Lewis, 3A, Curtis High School, University Place
Tom Van Duzer, 3A, Dream Field, Mt. Vernon
Andrew Kaminsky, 3A, Rister Stadium, Kelso
Bill Ranko, 2A, Franklin Pierce HS, Tacoma
Henry VonJouanne, 2A, Joe Martin Stadium, Bellingham
Chris Hinton, 2A, Wheeler Field, Centralia
Brian Sweet, 1A, A.C. Davis HS, Yakima
Curt McGuire, 1A, Castle Rock HS, Castle Rock
Barney Kinzer, 1A, Volunteer Field, 1A, Anacortes
Vern Dahl, 2B, Adna HS, Adna
Lincoln Missner, 2B, W. F. West HS, Chehalis
John Leeper, 1B, Daniels Field, Anacortes

NWAC North Playoffs, Friday May 20th thru Sunday May 22nd at Bellevue College
Gary Coy
Scott Guhlke
Adam Rogers

NWAC West Playoffs, Friday May 20th thru Sunday May 22nd at Tacoma Community College
Chris Claflin
Scott Johnson
Chris Remington (WWUA)

NWAC Championships, Thursday May 26th thru Monday May 30th
Mike Goebel, Lower Columbia College, Longview WA

May 27 & 28 Semifinals & Finals:
Jon Campbell, 3A & 4A, GESA Stadium, Pasco
Stephen Keating, 1A, 2A, County Stadium, Yakima

By Jay Neff
Member Services Chairman