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NSA Girl's Fast Pitch Softball
Illinois NSA

Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Joe Blunt
Sponsor
Sandoval, Illinois
Inducted December 6, 2014

Parks and tournaments directors' teams knew that the name “B & J Logging” well, and that Joe Blunt was the driving force behind the powerful team. Joe is respected throughout the softball community. His passion for sports started when he was a kid and it has never stopped. In 1980 Joe embarked on a new adventure when he became a coach/sponsor of a men’s softball team. 30 years later and spending over a million dollars he has never looked back and still is going today. Joe Blunt’s teams have won over 300 tournaments including 14 Major tournament titles and 5 World titles. Joe said, “B & J Logging played teams from all over the country! The opposition always knew that when they played us they were going to have a battle on their hands!”

Joe Blunt’s/ B & J Logging most cherished title was winning the 2004 NSA AA World Series beating the powerhouse team of the time, Dan Smith/Resmondo. Softball players that have played for B & J Logging speak of Joe Blunt’s drive to win but most of all they praise him for the respect that he gave to the players. Joe made B & J Logging a family team that wanted to win and also to have fun! Softball is what he likes, but Joe's family comes first and his love for his daughter Britney!


Lisa Ferry
Meritorious Service
Kankakee, Illinois
Inducted December 6, 2014

Lisa Ferry started playing summer slow pitch at the age of 8 in Greenville, IL. As her skills of the game progressed she was asked in 1976 to join a traveling competitive team called Country Spot from Old Ripley, IL at the age of 14. She played for Country Spot for 3 years. She started her career as a 1st baseman but quickly moved to the hot corner of 3rd base. Greenville High School did not offer High School softball so Lisa was limited to playing slow pitch in the summer. This forced her to take up track & field. Lisa was an IHSA 3 time state shot put champion and 1 time discus champion, holding the IHSA State shot put record for 29 years, with it falling in 2008. Lisa became a NCAA Division I All-American Shot Putter at the University of Houston.

As Lisa traveled around the state playing in softball tournaments she developed a reputation as a solid 3rd baseman and a power hitter. She caught the eye of a team from Belleville, IL called the Whiz Kids. She played for the Whiz Kids from 1977 through 1982 becoming one of the premier ASA softball players in the state. She was a member of the ASA Class A State champion team being named an All-State 3rd basemen 5 of the 6 years playing with the Whiz Kids. Lisa traveled to Marietta, GA to play in the National tournament. She was entered in the homerun hitting contest and placed 3rd nationally in the event. She even cleared the 315 foot fence on one of the blasts. She was lured away from the Whiz Kids to play for a team out of St. Peters, MO called Dick Weber Lanes.

Lisa played with them for 2 years from 85-86. Lisa took a teaching job in Kankakee, IL in 1985 and decided to stay the summers in Kankakee. She found a local team named Cardinal Transport to play with. She continued to play 3rd base and started pitching. In 1989 Lisa helped form a local team named Salkelds. This is when Lisa became a full time pitcher and had much success in this position. She was a player/manager with Salkelds from 1989 until her retirement from softball in 1993. Salkelds played in leagues at River Road park as well as in tournaments across the state and nationally. Lisa retired from softball after her third knee surgery. Lisa’s batting average was well over 600 in most seasons. She earned the nick name of “master blaster” from her team mates as she cleared the fence as River Road and bounced the ball off of the pavilion roof. Lisa loved the game and is humbled and honored to be receiving this tremendous recognition.


KGSSL
Girl's Fast-Pitch Organization
Kankakee, Illinois
Inducted December 6, 2014

For over a decade, Riverside Sports Park/KGSSL has provided softball leagues to the community and hosted girl's fast-pitch tournaments attracting hundreds of teams from the greater Midwest. The Kankakee Girls Summer Softball League was incorporated in 1996 to provide softball opportunities for all girls in the Kankakee Area. The initial goal was that no girl who wanted to play softball would be turned away for lack of funds. The league is proud to have maintained this standard for twenty years. From the beginning, the league has been in partnership with the Kankakee Valley Park District. Originally a cornfield, in 2000 Riverside Hospital and StarRadio donated the land that became the home for KGSSL at Riverside Softball Complex. Early officers of the league include NSA Hall of Fame member Curtis Page.

Curtis initiated the KGSSL Classic which has been a mainstay in the NSA summer schedule for nine years. In partnership with the NSA the KGSSL has hosted numerous tournaments over the last nine years including Class A and Class B State Tournaments. The KGSSL’s original focus was on Rec Softball. The KGGSL hosted a qualifier every year necessary to qualify for the Land of Lincoln Recreation Championship. During these years several KGSSL All Star Teams collected plaques and the 18u team coached by Richard Sagersee was the 18u Champion in 2007.

In 2009 the KGSSL started its Aftershock Travel Division with two teams. Due to the NSAs many tournaments, KGSSL decided to provide a quality travel experience without all the expenses of travel ball. This program has grown every year under the guidance of Andy Nicholos and John Coghlan who became vice president and president in 2009. KGSSL currently has six teams playing travel and has finished in the top tier of the B State Tourney, with the 18u team finishing second in 2013 and winning both the North and South NSA Championships in 2014. Every year KGSSL teams have qualified to compete in the NSA World Series with all five teams qualifying in 2014. Keeping true to its original focus, the KGSSL continues to provide rec softball opportunities for any girl that wants to play, regardless of financial circumstance.

The league has sent numerous players on to college careers, and continues to be a training ground for area high school and college players. It is only through the dedicated efforts of its volunteer coaches and grounds crews that the league has continued to prosper and overcome the many downpours that always seem to hit at tournament time. In partnership with the Kankakee Valley Park District and StarRadio, the league has continued to improve the experience at Riverside Park renovating fields and fencing while adding more trees and continuing to offer the best concessions food in the state. The Kankakee Girls Softball League and Riverside Sports Complex are proud of this long association with the NSA and grateful for inclusion in the Hall of Fame!


Bob Marfechuk
Umpire
Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
Inducted December 6, 2014

Bob “Marf“ Marfechuk is married to Joanne; they live in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. They have three children, Eric, Jade, and Evan, along with one grandchild name Eric. Bob has been umpiring since he was 18 years old when he started out at Liberty Park of America, in Sterling Heights, Michigan. At the age of 20 he was working the conference and open leagues. He moved to Illinois to peruse his career as the Sports/fitness director at Great Lakes Navy base for the past 29 years. Bob umpired NSA at Softball city in Hansville, Illinois from 1990-2001. In 2000 he moved to Wisconsin and in 2002 and starting working NSA tournaments for Illinois. Since 2004 to present he has been the Wisconsin NSA UIC. In 2008 Bob was assigned to be the NSA UIC for the Super “C” World Series in Missouri. From 2002 to 2012 Bob was the UIC at Lumpy’s Sports Bar in Wisconsin. He has assisted Bob Kerness in providing umpires for Illinois NSA tournaments. He also has been a Tournament director/UIC for Illinois tournaments. Bob has worked 11 NSA World Series and 7 Super Worlds in the Northern Zone.

Since 2011 Bob has worked summer tournaments in the state of Illinois. With 36 years as being an umpire, Bob still enjoys the thrill of working the tournaments. When Bob started as an umpire, his father instructed him to “hustle, be fair, learn the rules and to be firm, but friendly”. Bob concluded “Thank you Illinois NSA for this honor! I’ve enjoyed the ride!”


Bill Meyer
Umpire
Decatur, Illinois
Inducted December 6, 2014

Bill Meyer formerly of Blue Island, Illinois has resided in Decatur for the last 35 years. Bill has been married to his wife Cherie for 33 years. Bill has two daughters Amy Meyer and Chrissy Petitt, a son in law Harry Petitt, and three grandchildren Donell, Kybreius, and Lexi. Bill has played, coached, and umpired softball for the last 22 years. Bill coached both of his daughters and also his grandson Donell. Bill began his NSA umpiring career in 1994. “I worked a high school game early that season with Robert “Bob” Knox. He asked me if I would work for him through NSA that summer, and have continued to work for NSA ever since. I later met Bob Biehl and Leonard Winchester. Due to their leadership and guidance, I continue to improve my umpiring skills.” Bill worked his first World Series in 2003 and has worked almost every year since. Bill has worked the World Series Championship Game several times. Bill has been awarded four 110% Awards from the North Central Zone and also several plaques for working championship games. “Each award that I have received is special to me.” Bill is very humbled and honored to be selected to be inducted into the NSA/BPA Hall of Fame. I would like to especially thank my family, Bob Knox, Bob Biehl, Leonard Winchester and each umpire that I have had the privilege of working with throughout the years.


Kenneth Miars
Umpire
Yates City, Illinois
Inducted December 6, 2014

Kenneth (Ken) L. Miars, of Decatur graduated from Brimfield high school in 1961. He is married to wife Debbie and has 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren. Kenneth joined the Marine Corps in 1961 and was honorably discharged in 1966. He Served in Southeast Asia-Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. Kenneth was a Purple Heart recipient, a Bronze Star recipient and earned 7 combat stars! He started umpiring for NSA in 2000. Kenneth worked 4 World Series at Owensboro, KY, Michigan City, IN and East Peoria. He worked many NSA A/B State tournaments, at East Peoria and Kankakee, and numerous NSA qualifiers. Kenneth was selected for 2012 NSA Illinois U.I.C of The Year Award. He also worked BPA baseball. Ken worked several other associations prior to starting with NSA/BPA, including IHSA and American Youth Baseball. He was inducted into the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown Dreams Park in 2005 and the IHSA Coaches Hall of Fame as an umpire in 2007. Ken said, “I have really enjoyed myself while I umpired….met many umpires and directors along the way and look forward to meeting even more! When I started I learned a lot from the older umpires that I worked with and get a feeling of satisfaction helping new umpires become better like I did.”


Oak Lawn Park District Complex Cate O'Brien
Oak Lawn, Illinois
Inducted December 6, 2014

Oak Lawn Park District Centennial Park Softball Fields were built in 1983. 2015 will be the 32nd year running adult softball leagues. The complex features four diamonds with scoreboards and can facilitate adult slow-pitch, girl’s fast-pitch and boy’s baseball. The Oak Lawn Park District currently offers a variety of 12 inch and 16 inch NSA adult leagues for men, women and co-rec teams. Oak Lawn has one of the biggest softball programs on the South Side of Chicago with over 100 teams playing every Summer and over 75 every Fall. For many of these years the Oak Lawn Park District has been working very closely with Les Duncan and the NSA South Suburban Umpires Association. After the Summer 2015 season, plans are in place to begin a renovation project on the Centennial Park Softball Fields, making them better than ever! Oak Lawn is proud to work with Les Duncan in providing quality softball programs for our residents. We are honored and grateful to be to be selected to the Illinois NSA Hall of Fame!


Derrick Rolfingsmeier
Umpire
Highland, Illinois
Inducted December 6, 2014

Derrick Rolfingsmeier went to Mater Dei High School in Breese, where he played football and baseball. He went on to play football at the University of St. Francis in Joliet. Derrick started playing softball when he was 17 and played in the Clinton County and Madison County areas. In 2004, Derrick wanted to do more with the game of softball by becoming an umpire at Gordy Mac Softball Complex in Troy, Illinois. It was here that he met tournament director Tim “Demo” Demetrulias. After his first year, Tim asked Derrick to become his UIC. Since then, Derrick has been the UIC over the Troy, Chatham, and O’Fallon tournaments. There were weekends that Derrick has also stepped in as the tournament director when Tim was not available.

Derrick has umpired multiple state, regional, NIT, and qualifier tournaments throughout his years. He has umpired the COED World Series and the 2014 50+ World Series. Derrick’s involvement in umpiring the last 4 years has slowed down due to the fact that he had the opportunity to coach high school football. He is the varsity defensive line coach and the Head JV coach at Highland High School. Derrick is married to his wife Melissa and has four children Kaylyn, Dylan, Trevor, & Travis and continues to live in Highland. In 2003, Derrick worked the Four Man Umpire Crew for the NSA C World Series Finals.