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Whistling Zebra

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Northern Officials Association
Winter 2012 Edition (03-10-2012)
Jerry Blum --Editor
(847) 438-2231

Welcome to the WINTER edition of the Whistling Zebra for the 2011-2012 school year. Please feel free to send me suggestions on how to make this publication work for you.  If there is anything you want to have printed send it to me.

NOA Officers (2010-2012)


This is an Election year. Start thinking about running for one of the NOA Board positions this Spring.

If you have someone to nominate or would like to run for an office yourself, contact Don Swanson or Peter King.

In memory of Bob Brown, Heart of the NOA



Last call should be toast to memory of Bob Brown


This next sentence might be as nice a thing as one person can say about another:

“He’s like one of those high-school teachers or principals who affected a lot of kids.”

The comment came from an area basketball official, and it may be the best way to remember Bob Brown, a legendary official who lived in Highland Park and who passed away recently at age 75 from complications from cancer.

He was a difference-maker.

Arguably, he was the best known high-school official in the county, and served for 30-plus years as the Northern Officials Association’s assignment director for basketball for the North Suburban and Fox Valley (think Grayslake) conferences.

Here’s how that basketball ref put it:

“I’ve been refereeing hoops for four years now and all of the officials always treated him with damn-near reverence. He was indeed a very nice guy and he was good to me — just a beginner.”

In 2008, he was inducted into Lake County Sports Hall of Fame, and for the past few summers, a one-day high-school basketball tournament featuring teams such as Waukegan, North Chicago, Zion-Benton, etc., has been played at the College of Lake County in Grayslake to raise funds for a scholarship that is given in his name to a student-athlete from the Crystal Lake area.

Though Bob will be buried in New Jersey, events to honor his memory and celebrate his life will be held this weekend.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to either the Bob Brown Scholarship Fund, care of Randy Steen, Northern Officials Association Treasurer, 2157 N. Dogwood, Palatine, 60074 or the American Cancer Society.


Membership Chairman Report- Bruce Ruttenberg




From President--- Darrell Schrag


Apologies to Pete Merkel, who worked 3 rounds in football , for leaving him off of the list.


President – Troy Whalen  or

Here is a reminder: If you have not posted your picture on the Arbiter, please do so.  Many assignment chairmen, who may not know you by name will recognize you by your picture.  I have received several requests asking our members to properly update their profiles in the Arbiter.


Special Olympics


A special thanks to all the officials who donated their time to work the District 13 basketball tournament on Sunday Jan. 29, 2012.


The following officials worked at Vernon Hills:  Shane Cannon, Larry Yasdick, Ron Lorenzo, Mark Havlic, Dan Sawchuk, Ed Arajo, Jim Berkland, Tom Vagan, Matt Rapport, Jerry Blum, Bob Baker, Hector Zimmerman, Doug Groot, Jim Kruschwitz.

The following officials worked at Deerfield:  Phil Schmidt, Mike Babicz, Robert Miller


2011-12 NOA Basketball Top 15 List





Randy Steen

Jerry Blum


Rocky Nelson

Steven Gibble


Troy Whalen

Ron Lorenzo


Rich Petersen

Mike Babicz


Darnell Jones

Jerry Ming


Robert Miller

Troy Whalen


Don Swanson

Kenneth Pink


Phil Schmidt

Allan Smigiel


Mike Snodgrass

Jeff Schwarz


Tim Robbins

Pete Merkel


Jerry Blum

Jay Lampel


Jerry Ming

Mark Havlic


Mark Havlic

Cabrina Williams-Leneau


Mike Babicz

Bob Selz


Ron Lorenzo

Ethan Nussbaum


State Tournament Officials



Mike Babicz 1A/4A, Tom Vogan 1A/4A, Ron Lorenzo 1A/3A, Jerry Blum 1A, Jeff Schwarz 2A/4A,

Mark Havlic 1A/2A/3A, Steve Gibble 1A/4A, Ethan Nussbaum 2A/4A, Steve Doty 2A/3A,

Dave Butts 1A, Pete Androus 3A, Jay Lampel 1A, Pete Merkel 2A/3A, Jerry Ming 1A/2A,

Ken Pink 2A/3A, Darnell Jones 4A, Bill McIntee 1A/4A, Terry Herlihy 4A, Dave Lopshire 1A/4A,

Cabrina Williams 4A, Tom Brophy 4A, Eric Barger 4A, Randy Steen 4A, Bruce Ruttenberg 3A,

Troy Whalen 3A, Carl Majeski 3A, Dave Selig 3A, Jim Steiner 3A, Tim Robbins 4A, Ken Molinari 4A,


Mike Babicz 4A, Ron Lorenzo 3A, Jerry Blum 2A, Jeff Schwarz 3A, Mark Havlic 1A/4A,

Steve Gibble 3A, Ethan Nussbaum 2A, Steve Doty 4A, Jay Lampel 2A, Ken Pink 3A,

Darnell Jones 3A, Randy Steen 4A, Cabrina Williams 4A, Pete Merkel 3A,


Ron Lorenzo 3A, Jerry Blum 1A, Steve Gibble 3A, Darnell Jones 4A

State Finals

Jerry Blum 1A/2A, Steve Gibble 3A/4A





Mark Havlic  4A, Jerry Blum 4A, Tom Vogan 4A, Darnell Jones 4A, Ken Pink 4A, Mike Babicz 3A,

Steve Doty 1A/4A, Phil Schmidt 3A, Mike Snodgrass 3A, Jim Bernardi 3A, Bruce Ruttenberg 4A,

Pete Merkel 4A, Troy Whalen 4A, Rich Petersen 3A, Peter King 4A, Jeff Schwarz 4A,

Rocky Nelson 3A, Don Swanson 3A, Bob Selz 3A/4A, Mike Geske 3A, Robert Miller 4A,

Ron Lorenzo 3A, Jerry Ming 3A, Randy Steen 4A, Ken Molinari 3A/4A,


Phil Schmidt 4A, Peter King 3A, Mike Geske 3A, Robert Miller 3A, Randy Steen 4A


State Finals


  Special Olympics Basketball


I wanted to take a minute to personally thank you for all of your help with the District Basketball Competition on January 29, 2012!  This event would not have been successful without you!  The athletes that competed appreciate the hours you volunteered to help ensure the events ran smooth and safe.  We also appreciate the positive attitude in which you all had towards the event and especially towards the athletes. 


We 105 athletes compete in the skills competition at Deerfield High School.  Deerfield High School and Vernon Hills High School had 375 athletes on 36 teams that were competing in our Team Competition.  Not only did these compete, they excelled!  We had some great games!  Athletes and teams that received gold medals at this event will advance down to our State Basketball Competition in Normal, IL from March 16 – 18.  This is a chance for our athletes to compete with athletes from all over the state.  


It is because of the generous donation of your time that we are able to hold such quality competitions.  We appreciate the professional level of officiating that you bring to our events!


I hope you had as great of a day as our athletes did, if you have any great stories to share for a newsletter on the day, I would love to hear them!


Thanks again for all of your help on this day.  Our athletes went home happy and with plenty of medals, which means it was a successful event in our eyes! 


If you are interested in helping out with any events in the future, let me know and I can get you a calendar!  Have a good one!






Susan Foege, Area Director

Special Olympics Illinois, Area 13

103 Schelter Rd, #21

Lincolnshire IL 60069

Ph: 847.478.0935

Fax: 847.478.0982


NOA Banquet

The NOA banquet will be held on Saturday May 5, 2012 at Lamb’s Farm in Libertyville. We will start the evening with a general membership meeting at 5:30 pm followed with a social hour at 6:00 pm. Dinner will be at 7:00 pm. Following dinner we will have a speaker, who will be confirmed at a later date, and then NOA Awards. Make plans to attend. PAID MEMBERS: This is at NO COST to you. If you bring a guest, they are NOT COMPLIMENTARY.



Personal Info-

Please send me any promotions or other information you would like to share with the NOA members


Congratulations  : To the following for being promoted during the 2011-12 school year.


John Boyke to  Certified                  Carl Majeski  to  Certified                Shane Cannon  to  Certified

Mark Saunders  to Certified             Eric Feinendegen  to Recognized


Don Swanson   worked the Independence Bowl on Dec. 26th  as Side Judge



Board Meetings

The next Board Meeting was May 14, 2012. If you have anything you

want to be discussed, at future meetings, please send me an e-mail.