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Holstrom honored in Saturday's title game

The Centennial High teacher is being honored as Oregon's top basketball official


THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Gregg Holstrom puts a ball in play during a Mount Hood Conference showdown between Clackamas and David Douglas last month. Gregg Holstrom is hanging up the stripes after 26 years racing up and down the hardwood officiating prep basketball games.

The long-time business teacher at Centennial High, and a 1979 Barlow High graduate, will be honored during Saturday's 6A title game as the state's top referee by the Oregon Athletic Assocation of Officials.

“It's very humbling, but I don't see it as being the best official,” Holstrom said. “I've never done a 6A tourney, but I think they are honoring a lifetime commitment to officiating.”

A former coach, Holstrom saw officiating as a way to stay involved with sports during the off-season. He spent years working up through the ranks, calling middle school and sub-varsity games before becoming a mainstay during the primetime prep games. Holstrom also leads weekly mentoring classes for young referees.

“To be a good official you have to gain experience and work a lot of games,” Holstrom said. “You have to use common sense when enforcing the rules and be a good partner staying in concert when calling a game.”

Many of Holstrom's best memories came during his final season, getting one last chance to work games alongside friends Bob Frostad and Randy Swor. The highlight being a down-to-the-wire contest between David Douglas and Clackamas late in the season that had the officials sweating buckets to keep up with the up-tempo style of play.

“It was a great game that came down to the last shot in a packed gym, and I got to work it with one of my best buddies,” Holstrom said.

For his final assignment, Holstrom was basically given his choice of championship tournaments. With small-school attachments to The Dalles, Monroe and Corbett, Holstrom didn't chase the big stage. Instead, he chose to work the 3A tournament in Coos Bay. He blew the whistle for the final time Dayton's 51-39 win over Salem Academy in the girls championship game.

He will also be retiring after 31 years of teaching.

“It's rewarding being involved with kids. It keeps you young,” Holstrom said.

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