Celebrating 50 years of service refereeing for Cordova basketball

From left, Gretchen Carpenter, Dick Shellhorn, Jerry Bendzak and Tyson Bendzak stand together on half-court during the presentation of the Golden Whistle awards. Photo by Janalie Howard/for The Cordova Times

Referees Dick Shellhorn and Jerry Bendzak were honored for 50 years of service to Cordova High School basketball during the 39th Annual Tipoff Tournament. Activities Director Seth Balint presented with the following speech Saturday, Jan. 15 at the Cordova High School gym:

“If some of you might not know, this year is Jerry Bendzak and Dick Shellhorn’s 50th year officiating basketball.

Sometime around 1972 a couple young bucks decided to lace up the shoes and put on the stripes. As fast as these two are running up and down today in their 70s, I would have loved to see them running around in their 20s.

Throughout the many years of Cordova Basketball that we all love and enjoy, through the highs and the lows of each season, all the wins and all the loses, there has been one constant, and that constant has been Dick and Jerry for us in Cordova.

On behalf of the Cordova School District, we would like to personally thank you for the many years of commitment and dedication to the game of basketball, and to the City of Cordova.

We would like to present Dick and Jerry with a few awards.

First, we would like to make your presence even more permanent in our gym. Here we present to you, The Bendzak-Shellhorn Officials Corner Plaque. This plaque will be hung in our gym in the far corner where our referees sit before the locker room. That section will be forever reserved for our officials who embody sportsmanship, dedication, and passion for the game as Mr. Bendzak and Mr. Shellhorn represented for over 50 years.

For our second award tonight, if I could have some help from some familiar faces. Can Tyson Bendzak and Gretchen Carpenter come down and give me a hand? We would like to give both of you a small token of our appreciation. We have a Golden Whistle for the both of you made in a one-of-a-kind custom Wolverine box.

Your professionalism and commitment to officiating basketball is second to none.

We thank you for all that you have done for our community.

Let’s give it up for Jerry Bendzak and Dick Shellhorn!”