South Bay Recognizes Its Officials
By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
There were cheers and applause. There were hand shakes and smiles. This was the gathering of California Football Officials Association- South Bay Unit.
Unit President Jeff Taylor Board members welcomed some 100 guests and veteran officials to the Verandas Manhattan Beach House. The event help give notice to past and present members and their spouses for outstanding work and devotion to Southern California youth and the Unit itself.
“I’ve got to meet a lot of people on my journey,” said retired official Art Gray. “ It’s good to see people I haven’t seen in awhile. Gray was one of the new inductee’s into the Hall of Fame.The 6’4 Gray was a towering figure who could keep a game under control. He worked with crew members in a gratifying way, keeping them sharp and always looking out for the safety of the players participating.
Other inductees included Richard “Dick” Acres, the former Carson High teacher and Football coach who spent several years officiating after leaving Carson. He also coached the Colts basketball team leading them to a state title in 1982. Acres officiated until he passed in 2012.
Dave Kurt also entered the Hall. He officiated for more than forty years.
“Dave was a guy who never lost his cool,” said Board member C.W. Allen. “He was one of the best rule men ever. He was firm when you worked with him, he also was one of the nicest men you ever met and a real person.”
Kurt passed in 2014, however his wife Darlene and several family members were on hand to accept the enshrinement. She was his biggest supporter. “This brings back all the memories, washing his uniform and sewing (the American) flag on it” said Darlene. “Looking good was part of the way he was. I know he loved his work, he loved working on the field with the kids.”
Away from the field Kurt also worked assisting people while working for State Farm Insurance and assisting with St. Johns Church its finance.
Other members that have been previously inducted in the South Bay Hall include; Chad Brown former NFL official, Bill Agopian and Jim Farmer.
Hall of Famer Matt Barnes began his career in the South Bay Unit. He currently works in the PAC-12 and has done so more than 15 years. He has worked College Football Playoff Semi-final and National CHAMPIONSHIP games.
Several years ago he was umpire when Notre Dame and USC squared off for one of the greatest regular season games ever. A game known as the “Bush Push” played in South Bend.
Every off-season Barnes attends clinics and camps to give advice to new and up coming officials.
“I always want to give back and help someone get better,” said Barnes.
Others honored for their play-off games are:
Sidney Blue – Side Judge who were honored the 2017 CIF SS Championship Mater Dei Vs St John Bosco at Cerritos College.
Ron Maden- Line Judge is a CIF STATE BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP OFFICIAL and has worked the CIF-SS Division 1 Championship game.
CIF-SS Division 13 Championship Crew members are:
Greg Lawson – Referee
John Beuner – Umpire
Tim Greer – Head linesman
Ron Harris – Line Judge
Ron Maden – Side Judge
Dwaine Harris – Field Judge
CW Allen – Back Judge
Jeff Taylor Sr. is a 6 time umpire CIF State Football Official-he also officiated the 2016 CIF SS Open Division Championship St. John Bosco vs Mater Dei at Anaheim Stadium.
The South Bay Board members are:
President – Jeffrey Taylor Sr
Vice President – CW Allen
Past President – John Bruner
Treasurer – Chaka Wade
Secretary – Fred Gravett
Instructional Chair – Nardy Samuels
Assistant to Nardy – Greg Fucci
Assignor – Paul Just
Board members at large: Dwaine Harris, Lance Reed, Abdul Wajid, and Frank Obregon.