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NSA Girl's Fast Pitch Softball
Illinois NSA

Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Xtreme Promotional Sports
Bradley, Illinois
Inducted December 3, 2016

Xtreme Promotional has been a Hall of Fame sponsor and a Softall Tournament and Team sponsor for the past three decades. They were originally named and known as, Performance Sports. They have sponsored many successfull softball teams throughout the 80’s. Performance Sports was known as a shoes and apparel store. The owner of Performance sports was Gary Dupuis, he branched his company into another company called, Superior Silkscrean. (Which were known for uniforms and sport clothing and again a team sponsor). Dupuis then merged with another company and calling it Xtreme Promotional Products with Rig Lyle. Xtreme Promotional Productsspecializes in promotional products and awards, this is their most current company.

Tim Dively
Fast Pitch Umpire
Pesotum, Illinois
Inducted December 3, 2016
Diamond Softball Team Sponsor
Champaign, Illinois

Tim Dively is married to Brenda, and they currently reside in Pesotum, Illinois. Between them they have one son, four daughters, and seven grandchildren. He graduated from Champaign Central High School in 1965, where he participated in Track, Cross Country, and basketball. Tim began coaching Junior Pony League in Sadorus, Illinois, in 1973, which led to a 15 year coaching career. The following year he started umpiring fastpitch softball for IHSA, and a couple years after that got into umpiring in summer leagues. During this time he also served as the Commissioner of the area summer leagues. Tim started umpiring NSA fastpitch softball in the late 1990’s at the Central Illinois Diamonds Fastpitch Classic. It’s a large NSA Qualifier held in the Urbana/Rantoul area that turned into a huge tournament over the years. As time went on, Tim started branching out and working NSA tournaments all around the state.

He worked most, if not all, of the Illinois NSA State tournaments during this time, in addition to numerous Qualifiers in Mattoon, East Peoria, Kankakee, Quad Cities, and other sites. Tim also worked many NSA Girls Fastpitch World Series in places such as East Peoria, IL; Birmingham, Alabama; Columbus, Ohio; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Rock Hill, South Carolina, where he was chosen numerous times for the finals and/or championship games. He was also active as an umpire with boys baseball, and was a longtime Junior College and NCAA D3 fastpitch softball umpire. Tim says “I feel I have had a very successful and enjoyable career as an umpire for fastpitch softball and and baseball for 40 plus years.

I would like to thank all those who I have been involved with during my time as a volunteer coach and umpire. I appreciate all the opportunities I have been given to lead and teach young people about these great sports. The Central Illinois Diamonds Fastpitch Softball Organization was started in 1995 as the brainchild of Roger Obrecht, Steve Malloch, Pat Gray and Bob Biehl. They saw the need for a more competitive softball program and began with one 18U team. Individual girls were invited to on the team based on the positions they played. The organization has grown to include as many as eight teams of various age groups over the years based on interest and abilities of the players.

Diamond Softball Team

The Diamonds played in their first NSA World Series in 1996 and in 1997 began playing exclusively in NSA tournaments. The teams have enjoyed much success over the years. Their best finishes in the World Series have been: 18U-fifth in 1998; 16U-fourth in 1999 and third in 2002 (and they placed third in the Super World Series in Las Vegas, Nevada) and in 2005, the 10U team won first in the World Series held in East Peoria, Illinois. Terry King, George Hendricks and Steve Malloch each had daughters on that first team. As their daughters aged out of the program, George and Terry went from being supporting parents to assistant coaches and then to head coaches. Steve was head coach for many years and currently serves on the Board of Directors. In 2001, Terry became head coach of the 14U team and George the head coach of the 16U team. Terry has coached many age groups in his career and became a board member in 2003. He has served as the organization’s treasurer since 2008. Terry, George and Steve continue to be involved in the management of the Diamonds organization, but the efforts of many other coaches have helped sustain the Diamonds program and continue to keep it as a challenger in the NSA program.

Darrick Owens
Slow Pitch Umpire
Florissant, Illinois
Inducted December 3, 2016

Darrick “D.O.” Owens is a St. Louis, MO native, who graduated in 1988 from Normandy Senior High School where he played baseball and basketball. In 1990, he earned an Associate Degree in Business Management from Sanford Brown Business College. Darrick played for various teams in the St. Louis area throughout the years; however his completive softball was played with teams Class Act and the St. Louis Stars.
In 2004, Darrick turned his athletic ability, baseball skills and softball expertise to umpiring. He began umpiring under the tutelage of John Bell at Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex “BMAC” in Bridgeton, MO. John was gracious in contributing umpiring skills, professionalism and interiority game to Darrick. It was here that Darrick cultivated his umpiring acumen combined with his passion and work ethic that he dedicated his focus to be among the best.

While at BMAC he met tournament director, Tim ‘Demo’ Demetrulias their friendly acquaintance provided a gateway to numerous opportunities. Darrick has continued to strengthen his umpiring resume and has worked countless tournaments in Troy, Chatam, O’Fallon, and Decatur, Illinois. Darrick has also umpired multiple State, Regional, N.I.T Qualifiers and Worlds. Additionally, he has umpired 2 50+ World Series, 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Co-Ed World Tournaments. In 2012, as a result of his leadership, commitment and dedication Darrick was voted and awarded the ‘John Lawson Umpire of the Year’ Award at BMAC by his peers. Darrick remains grateful for his mentors: Vollie Alexander, John Bell, Tim “Demo” Demetrulias, and Derrick Rolfingsmeier for their support and professional influence relating to the game of softball and umpiring.

Darrick is sincerely humbled and appreciative for the honor in selecting him to the NSA 2016 Hall of Fame. He shares this special moment with his wife of 16 years, Stacie and their four children: Arion, Dylan, Dallas and Devin (late).

Michael Kleuver
German Town Hills, Illinois
Inducted December 3, 2016

Michael Kluever was an accomplished sponsor and manager in the sport of men’s slow- pitch playing in numerous associations for over 30 years.Mike said his favorite association was NSA. It was a hitter’s game. He loved to play in the Midwest; especially Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. He said Gerry Gund and Jim Kammel were class acts. He stated how there were so many different places to play and they were always well organized.
Michael said: “We called several weeks before ‘The Thoroughbred” tournament to see if we could play and the director said that they were full. I asked them to put us on the waiting list and to give us a call if any spots open up. The Thursday before tournament play my phone rang and it was the director saying they had a spot open in the Thoroughbred“ tomorrow Friday at 9:30pm. Of course I said yes to his suprise and we got the boy’s together and we packed up the motorhome. We ended up beating Wannabe tout of Ohio twice to win the championship.”

Through the early 2000’s he has walked away with 1st place in the Spring Classic in Kentucky, 2nd place in NSA A Nationals in Indiana, 2nd place in NSA AA Nationals in Texas, 5th Place in NSA AAA (Major) in North Carolina, 1st place in Thoroughbred Classic in Kentucky and NSA AA World Series in Indiana. Through 2005 he received 2nd place in NSA NIT in Washington, 3rd place in NSA Major World Series in Indiana, and 5th place in NSA AA World Series in Indiana. We loved to play ball!

Jeff Ott said, “I can’t think of no one who is more deserving of this recognition than Mike. The sacrifice and personal commitment that he has given for people like myself and countless others who just wanted to play is an accomplishment in itself. I am very proud to be able to say I played for Mike, but it pales in comparison to say that I can call Mike a friend. He is a friend to all, and everyone is a better person if they have taken the time to get to know him. I am sorry that I will not be able to attend the celebration of Mike's induction.”

Dennis Grah
Fast Pitch Umpire Ellis, Illinois
Inducted December 3, 2016

Dennis Grah attended Sparta High School, played four years of football and baseball, graduating in 1976 . He married his wife Tammy in 1978, had a son and daughter with four grand childrens. Dennis and Tammy have a farm and in 1988 he started working for Sparta School District. Dennis then started working as a Correctional Officer for Illinois Department of Corrections at Menard Maximum Security Penitentiary where he still works as a Sergeant today. Dennis started umpiring in 1990 for Pony leagues, started officiating IHSA in 1999. While there the UIC asked him to umpire weekend tournaments at Cape Girardeau, MO.

After working for Garner at Cape in 2004, Dennis registered NSA in Illinois in 2005, and worked many qualifiers and every every Illinois State Tournament since registering. He has worked every World Series since 2005, and every Border Braggin’ Tournament since it’s birth. He also has worked the NSA Super World and Women’s World Series. In 2016 he worked both the A and B NSA World Series. In many of these tournaments he was chosen for the Championship game, working the plate in some. Dennis says “I am very humbled and honored to be inducted into the IL NSA/BPA Hall of Fame. I want to thank my family for their support, Bob Biehl, Leonard Winchester and all the new friends/umpires I have had the privilege of meeting and working with. If my family or I go anywhere in Illinois there is always someone I can call on if I am in need”.

Hector J. Espinosa
Fast Pitch Umpire Hammond, Indiana
Inducted December 3, 2016

Hector’s life included playing baseball, boxing, basketball, and billiards. He went onto college and became a Special Education Teacher, where he learned a lot about the psychology of children. This aided him on how to understand and interact with people. He found humor and trust to be the key elements! He coached three years of T-ball and six years of girls travel ball. His daughter’s team won the NSA Indiana state tournament and he also coached three teams in the NSA World Series. His 16u team came in fifth place in North Carolina where we were invited to the Super World Series and we accepted. The team came in third place. Hector says, “Coaching encouraged me to learn the rules of the game hence becoming an umpire years down the road.” Hector has been umpiring for seven years, in which includes, numerous Illinois and Indiana State tournaments. He was invited and accepted four World Series invitations from Leonard Winchester. Hector foresees growth and continuous learning of the great game of Softball.

Bob Biehl
Fast Pitch Director Urbana, Illinois
Inducted December 3, 2016

Rob was born into the softball world. He got his start at the age of four, serving as bat-boy for the Champaign-Urbana Merchants men’s fast pitch team. He began playing baseball after moving to Nebraska, which led to playing softball. At approximately fifteen years of age, Rob started playing softball with his father, filling in when the team was short players or serving as an extra base runner. After moving back to Illinois in 1986, Rob continued to play softball on both fast-pitch and slow-pitch teams. He has played in many state tournaments for both leagues and is still laying in slow-pitch leagues today. After graduating college in 1995, Rob served as a volunteer assistant coach for Champaign Centennial High School. In 1999, he began assisting at St. Joseph-Ogden High School as a volunteer with his father. In 1998, Rob got his start as a director byserving as a site director for the Central Illinois Diamonds’ annual tournament. He served in this role until 2010, when the last Diamonds’ tournament was held. In 2003, he began helping direct the Illinois NSA State tournaments and continues in that role today. Softball has allowed Rob to meet many people, make many friends and travel to many places. The most important thing to Rob is that softball has allowed him to spend quality time with the man he admires most, his father.