By Jessie Reestman
Elgin Review staff writer
Bucket list item fulfilled
On the 30th anniversary of playing in the boys’ state basketball tournament, Todd Heithoff was able to cross one big item off his bucket list by returning to the state tourney courts after being selected to work as a referee for the 2021 Girls State Basketball Tournament.
Todd has been officiating high school basketball games throughout our area for twelve years now. He decided to become a referee after stepping down from coaching. He explained, “I coached a total of 12 years of basketball at Elgin High.
For two years, I was an assistant coach under Phil Kluthe, then spent the next ten years as head coach. I have always loved the game, and so for me, it was kind of a natural way to keep involved with the game of basketball once I decided to get out of coaching.”
While on the court, Todd’s officiating crew is made up of himself, Aaron Krueger of Clearwater, and Rick Pelster of Petersburg. He added, “This year, I believe together, we worked around 30 nights of the season. It is usually two games a night, so we covered about 60 games this year. We probably ref 75% of the games together. However, the state tournament has been on my bucket list since I first started. It is no different than a kid playing; your goal is always to get to state.”
To be a consideration at the state level, a referee must first become certified. This requires two years of game experience as a registered official. Referees are also required to go to an educational clinic every other year and receive routine evaluations of their performance on the court. Only after a referee is certified are they eligible to apply to work in a subdistrict, district, and state. To read the full story turn to this week’s edition of the Elgin Review.