Kansans Recognized for Officiating Leadership

TOPEKA, Kan. — The KSHSAA is proud to announce that John A. Dehan has been awarded the National Federation Officials Association (NFOA) Distinguished National Contributor Award.

The NFHS selects one individual from across the country to be awarded this honor each year. Dehan is from Olathe, Kansas and has been a registered official with the KSHSAA for 32 years.  He first registered in basketball after working with his dad at games. A few years later he picked up football and umpired baseball and softball for a few years. John is a recruiter of officials and created the officials assigning business “Call the Game”. He also was instrumental in revamping the local officials association into a group that reaches not only Johnson County area officials, but officials throughout the state. The Kansas Sports Officials Association has more than 600 members. John is the league commissioner for five leagues and assigns contests for all levels at 45 high schools and 29 middle schools.

“The KSHSAA appreciates the contributions John has made in helping recruit, retain, train and assign officials in Kansas. Mr. Dehan has served the youth of Kansas as an official at the highest level and is very deserving of this recognition. He has served as a camp clinician at many of our basketball camps and is a good liaison between officials and administrators,” said KSHSAA Executive Director Bill Faflick.  His award will be presented at one of the state basketball tournament sites.

Also receiving national recognition is John Wondra who was named the National Federation Officials Association (NFOA) Active Official Award for Section 5.  Section 5 includes the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. John started his officiating career while a college student at Dodge City Community College with Eldon Becker as his teacher and mentor. He has been a registered official in Kansas for 29 years in basketball, 25 years in football, 24 years in volleyball and 21 years in baseball.  He serves as a KSHSAA basketball and baseball area supervisor. In that role he continues teaching officials. John has officiated multiple state tournaments in basketball and baseball. He has also officiated postseason football contests.

“John has been a steady influence on officials, training many new officials as well as helping with clinics.  His calm yet confident demeanor on the court and field make him an excellent official and mentor,” said KSHSAA Executive Director Bill Faflick.  His award will be presented at one of the state basketball tournament sites.

The NFHS also recognized 12 other active officials as 2022 State Officials of the Year.  These officials have made significant contributions to high school officiating as a KSHSAA registered official.

Baseball – John Wondra, Manhattan

Boys Basketball – Jon Randle, Lawrence

Girls Basketball – Patrick Crider, Olathe

Football – Darrell Holaday, Wamego

Boys Soccer – Nick McBride, Independence

Girls Soccer – Matthew Weigant, Wichita

Boys Track & Field – Steve Lehning, Sublette

Girls Track & Field – Tracy Smith, Moran

Softball – Megan Wilson, Newton

Volleyball – Tamara Buche, Burlingame

Wrestling – Tracy Robbins, Circleville

Gymnastics – Emilie Doerksen, Topeka

Congratulations to all these officials for being recognized by the NFHS and KSHSAA for their contributions to officiating.