Denice Hanson Denice Hanson, who passed away on January 12, 2021, leaves behind a legacy marked by her love for family, dedication to sports, and passion for volleyball. Born in Honolulu, she grew up in Kalihi Kai and graduated from Farrington High School. Denice found joy and fulfillment in athletics, starting with playing volleyball alongside her father during her youth. After becoming a mother, Denice embarked on a successful canoe paddling career, participating in various clubs and eventually co-founding the Lauho’e Canoe Club. However, it was in volleyball that she truly found her calling. She began her coaching journey as the varsity girls head coach at Farrington High School, where she had once been a student-athlete. Later, she transitioned to become a volleyball referee official, officiating matches at all levels, from league play to international events like the FIVB Women World Grand Prix in Honolulu. Denice's accomplishments in officiating were numerous. She earned both her USAV Junior National and National Officials Certifications and had the privilege of officiating volleyball matches for various organizations, including NFHS high school, collegiate volleyball in Division I and Division II, and the WAC and Big West Conferences. Her expertise extended beyond officiating as she passionately taught the rules of the game and volleyball scorekeeping, particularly to high school and USA Junior volleyball programs. Throughout her life, Denice's family remained her pride and joy. Her husband, Jim, was her steadfast companion, and her children and grandchildren were the light in her eyes. Known for her compassionate heart and unconditional love, Denice touched the lives of many. Her energetic spirit and wholehearted commitment to everything she did will always be remembered.
Dr. Lloyd Hisaka Dr. Lloyd Hisaka's passion for sports officiating has been a driving force throughout his life. His journey in officiating began when he was appointed as the Assistant Director of Intramural Sports at the University of Hawaiʻi. In this role, he trained countless college students to officiate intramural games, introducing them to the world of officiating and instilling in them the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. Many of these students went on to become officials in their local communities, thanks to Hisaka's guidance. To enhance his own officiating skills and instructional abilities, Hisaka attended officiating camps on the mainland and joined local associations such as the Hawaii Football Officials Association (HFOA) and the State Association of Hawaii Basketball Officials (SAHBO). He utilized the knowledge gained from these experiences to conduct basketball and football officiating clinics for high school leagues in the state. Additionally, he taught the “Techniques of Officiating” class for physical education majors at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. In football officiating, Hisaka had an impressive career. He trained UH students to officiate flag football, served as the game official assignor for the HHSAA State Football Championship, and was recognized as the NFHS State Official of the Year in 1999. He also served on the NFHS football rules committee and worked as a Mountain West Conference Sideline Assistant for Replay. In basketball officiating, Hisaka played a crucial role as a charter member of SAHBO, serving as treasurer and rules interpreter. He officiated in prestigious tournaments such as the Rainbow Classic, Maui Invitational, and HHSAA State Championships. His remarkable career spanned 36 years in high school officiating and 30 years in NAIA/NCAA Division II. Aside from football and basketball, Hisaka also made contributions to golf officiating. He volunteered as a rules official with the Hawaii State Golf Association, chaired local qualifying tournaments for the USGA, and wrote monthly articles on golf rules for a local periodical. Recognized for his immense contributions, Hisaka received numerous awards, including the National Federation Citation for contributions to Interscholastic Athletics, the highest honor given by the NFHS.
Donald Meinel Donald Meinel is a revered figure in the world of softball, with a career spanning over several decades. In 1985, he was elected as the president of the Amateur Softball Association of Hawaii, a position he held for three years before being appointed as the Commissioner of USA Softball in 1988. Remarkably, he served in this role for an impressive 33 years until his retirement in 2021, leaving an indelible mark on the sport. Meinel's dedication to softball extends beyond administrative roles. In 1986, he established the Aloha Umpires Association, showcasing his commitment to developing and nurturing umpiring talent. He served as the League Director for several prominent leagues, including the Aloha Softball League from 1980 to 1989, the Bar and Restaurant League from 1981 to 1992, the Women's Amateur Softball League from 1990 to 1997, and the Hawaii Armed Services League from 1985 to 1996. Throughout his career, Meinel actively contributed to the advancement of softball rules and regulations. He served as the By-Laws Chair for the ASA Pacific Coast Region for an impressive 21 years and was a member of the National Rules Committee for 33 years, showcasing his deep involvement in shaping the sport at both regional and national levels. Meinel's passion for softball extended to promoting the sport and fostering opportunities for athletes of all abilities. In 1990, he became the Softball Coordinator for the Aloha State Games, organizing and facilitating competitions for aspiring players. As chairperson of the Hawaii Softball Foundation, established in 2009, Meinel has been instrumental in supporting the softball community through various initiatives. The foundation has provided scholarships amounting to over $50,000. His enduring commitment to softball, both on and off the field, has left an indelible legacy in the sport. His remarkable achievements, dedication to fairness, and nurturing of umpiring talent have made him a revered figure in the softball community.
J. Craig Petersen Craig Petersen is a highly esteemed figure in the world of basketball officiating in Hawaii. With a career spanning several decades, Petersen's name is synonymous with excellence and professionalism. He joined the Hawaii Basketball Official's Association in 1972 under the mentorship of Jimmy Aiona, a Hall of Fame inductee, and quickly rose to become one of the top high school officials. For 17 seasons, Petersen officiated high school basketball games, including two HHSAA State Championship games, showcasing his expertise and passion. From the early stages of his career, it was evident that Petersen had a deep-seated commitment to basketball officiating and a desire to work at a higher level. In 1975, he officiated his first collegiate game, Weber State at Hawaii, which marked the beginning of a remarkable 26-year journey officiating NAIA District 29/NCAA Division II level games, including those featuring Chaminade and Hawaii Hilo. In 1979, Petersen's talents were recognized when he was hired by Irv Brown, alongside Larry Yamashita and Hall of Famer Pat Tanibe, to officiate in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Petersen worked full schedules in both Hawaii and on the mainland, officiating men's basketball in the WAC from 1979 to 2004 and women's basketball in the Big West Conference from 1984 to 1988. Petersen's skills as a college official opened doors to officiate in prestigous tournaments, including the Chaminade Invitational, which eventually became the Maui Classic. For nearly two decades, he officiated in this annual tournament, even officiating the championship game on two occasions. Petersen reached the pinnacle of his career when he became the first official from Hawaii to work the WAC Men's Basketball Championship game in 1993, between New Mexico and UTEP. He also officiated in the National Invitational Tournament in 1994. In addition to his officiating career, Petersen had a distinguished 25-year career with the Honolulu Fire Department, retiring with the rank of captain. Today, he continues to contribute to the basketball community as an observer and evaluator for the Hawaii State Basketball Officials Association, sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring officials.
John Smith John W. Smith, originally from Louisiana, made a lasting impact on the baseball community in Hawaii. Growing up, Smith's passion for baseball was ignited as he played the sport alongside his three brothers. In 1952, he was a part of the victorious Spearsville, Louisiana team that clinched the Louisiana High School Baseball Championship, setting the stage for his future involvement in the sport. In 1966, Smith relocated to Hawaii, where his sons Gene and David began their baseball journey in the Palolo Little League. John's unwavering support for his sons led him to attend nearly every practice and game, becoming an integral part of their baseball experience. In 1967, he took on a new role as an umpire in the Majors Division of Palolo Little League. Through his dedication, skill, and integrity as an umpire, Smith earned the respect of the community, despite being one of the few non-locals in the area. Smith's umpiring career flourished. Around 1971, he worked the Babe Ruth League and high school junior varsity games. By 1973, he was officiating ILH (Interscholastic League of Honolulu) and OIA (Oahu Interscholastic Association) high school varsity games, as well as AJA and American Legion games. Smith's reputation as a skilled umpire continued to grow, all while he managed to support his sons by attending their games. In 1975, Smith reached another milestone in his umpiring career when he was selected to officiate an exhibition baseball game at Aloha Stadium between the San Diego Padres and the Seibu Lions from Japan. The game featured renowned players like Dave Winfield and Willie McCovey, both of whom would later be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. From 1980 to 1985, Smith took on the additional responsibility of scheduling umpires for various leagues and games, including American Legion, high school, AJA, Hawaii Baseball League, and University of Hawaii games. Smith eventually retired from umpiring in 1988, not due to a lack of enjoyment but to prioritize spending more time with his family. His contributions to the baseball community in Hawaii, both as an umpire and a supportive father, will always be remembered.
Glenn Young Glenn Young's illustrious career in football officiating spans over 35 years and is marked by his dedication and expertise on the field. He officiated numerous games, including ROIA, OIA, Prep Bowl, and HHSAA championship games. In the historic 2000 HHSAA championship game between Kahuku and Saint Louis, Young served as the referee for the initial game and as the back judge for the rematch a year later. His officiating repertoire extended beyond high school games, as he also worked as a referee for the semi-pro football league on Oahu and officiated youth games. During his career, Young navigated challenging times in the ROIA and OIA, including incidents of ruckuses and even a pipe bomb explosion on the field at Aloha Stadium. Despite the difficulties, he remained committed to his role as a respected and competent rules administrator. Young also took on the responsibility of mentoring both new and experienced officials, and his knowledge and guidance made a lasting impact on the officiating community. Young's contributions extended beyond officiating as well. His affiliation with ʻIolani School began in 1959 when he was a student-athlete, participating in football and basketball for the Red Raiders. After college, he returned to ʻIolani as the school's first computer teacher and led the Computer Department for several decades. Additionally, Young made his mark as a coach, serving as an assistant football coach under Eddie Hamada and later becoming the head coach. He also coached basketball and founded the 'Iolani Prep Basketball Classic, a prestigious tournament that gained national recognition. In 1983, Young led the ʻIolani boys varsity basketball team to the school's first-ever HHSAA State Championship. Young's commitment and dedication to both officiating and education were exemplary. His records and accomplishments may not have been meticulously documented, as he remained humble throughout his life. However, his impact on the football officiating community and the 'Iolani School community is immeasurable, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.