Nearly 80, Cook man still officiates all kinds of games |

Nearly 80, Cook man still officiates all kinds of games

Updated: May 06, 2021 07:11 PM
Created: May 06, 2021 07:01 PM

For months, COVID kept kids from playing sports. Now that bats are swinging again, the MSHSL says they really need officials.

Many are aging. And at nearly 80, Bill 'Petey' Peterson from Cook is still out there with his umpire uniform, about five nights a week. He figures he's one of the oldest ones.

"You gotta enjoy the kids, and you gotta enjoy the sports," he said. He's been helping officiate softball, baseball, basketball, and football games for forty years.

Thursday was extra special. He was an umpire at a game for his great-granddaughters. It was a first in his officiating career, having already done it at his five grandkids' games.

He said it's important to ignore the loud and sometimes unruly spectators. And he said the hallmark of a good game is that people don't even notice you were there.

Before he heads to the fields across the Range, he spends about five hours at the Vermilion Fairways golf course in Cook, where he's the manager.

All of this keeps him young. And he's also grateful to his wife for being patient with his frequent absences.

The MSHSL is encouraging people to apply to be officials, to keep kids playing the sports they love.

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