By Chris Chaney
“Fair and balanced” isn’t just a motto reserved for Fox News, it can also be used to describe Doug Ayers of Batavia.
The longtime Ohio High School Athletic Association official was recognized by the organization in June for his work behind the plate and in the field in 2013-14. He was named the 2013-14 OHSAA Baseball Official of the Year.
Honored at the June 14 banquet in Columbus, Ayers was joined by 17 other officials from each of the OHSAA-sanctioned sports as well as a class of 15 who were inducted into the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame.
Ayers selection as the baseball official of the year came as a result of his years of service, contribution to local associations, development of new officials and tournament selections.
Tyler Brooks, the OHSAA’s Officiating Program Coordinator, explained that Ken Meyers has been in charge of organizing the Officials of the Year for the past three to four years. Meyers then contacts each sport’s Director of Officiating Development and has them select an official to be honored.
Kyle McNeely, the DOD of baseball, selected Ayers. Brooks said that DODs are typically given a suggested district to find a suitable honoree from to ensure that all officials around the state are properly recognized.
The other officials who were honored this year were: boys basketball: J. Kevin Swarzel, Athens; girls basketball: Pamela Schultz, Vandalia; boys cross country: Vicky Olwine, Arcanum; girls cross country: Lois Wright, Scio; field hockey: Doug Campbell, Columbus; gymnastics: Christina Andres, Delaware; ice hockey: Robert Gruhl, Kettering; football: Mark Cisco, New Breman; boys soccer: Daniel Fetty, New Boston; girls soccer: Nick Bavaro, Medina; softball: Rolly Weber, Elida; boys swimming and diving: Rodney Welsh, Delaware; girls swimming and diving: Carol Guibord, Cincinnati; boys track and field: J. William Schaller, Albany; Girls Track & Field: Dennis Julian, Dublin; volleyball: Lovell McKee, Logan; wrestling: Larry Saxton, Defiance.
The 2014 OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame Induction class is: Tim Ahart, Columbus (baseball, and volleyball); Tom Burton, Columbus (baseball, basketball, football and softball); Bonnell “Barney” Ellis, Akron (baseball, basketball, softball and volleyball); Jeff Diosi, Dover (baseball and softball); Keith Fisher, New Carlisle (basketball, softball volleyball); Phil Garcia, Conneaut (baseball, basketball, softball, football and volleyball); Samuel Gomer, Ottawa (track and field); James Heller, Dover (track and field); John Keener, Athens (baseball, basketball, softball and football); Linda Jarvis Kochan, Munroe Falls (basketball, field hockey and volleyball); David May, Elida (baseball, basketball, softball and football); David Nash, Urbana (basketball and football); Danner “Beau” Rugg, Columbus (baseball and football); Steven Trout, Wapakoneta (basketball, softball and volleyball); and Kimberly Zaborniak, Millersport (Administrator).