Gopher State Officials Association

Since 1965, serving members of the Minnesota State High School League by providing high school officials in baseball, basketball, football, and softball and educating officials who are members of the association.

Gopher Officials Recognition Event 

Join Gopher State Officials for an Officials' Recognition Event 

April 7, 2024 at the Minnetonka Community Education Center

featured speaker will be MSHSL Assistant Director and Head of Officials Jason Nickelby

Awards for Rookie of the Year, Bozo Wincek Award, and Retired Officials 

Tickets are $25 for an individual, $45 for two

Register by clicking here. Learn more by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you on April 7!

Gopher Officials Most Recent News 

Click here to read important updates from Gopher

last updated March 1, 2024 and includes information about 

the Gopher officials working basketball state tournaments, a recipient of the MSHSL 

Distinguished Service Award, the Gopher State Rookies of the Year, 

the baseball/softball annual meeting, and a new member of the Board of Directors. 

Basketball Update

Congratulations to the Gopher basketball officials who have been selected to work the 2024 girls and boys state tournaments! Those officials receiving assignments are:

GIRLS Tournament: 

Rob Bissonette, Dawson Blanck, Cheryl Bolitho, Joe Bollant, Andrew Cook, Ryan Grams, Tristan Hardt, Rich Kellerman, Nick Litfin, Keesha Pringle, Dayna Rethlake, Toby Sackett, David Schmeichel, Pat Sobiech, Jeff Thomas, Jason Weber, Gina Zech, 

BOYS Tournament:

Rick Baker, Tony Dahl, Adam Dehnicke, Cole Fasching, Stephen Kent, Dean Kockelman, Dan Kvitrud, Austin Lagesse, Craig Laird, Ryan Luessenheide, Tom Middagh, Pat Molan, John Mulder, Bob Selz, Chris Tengwall, Aaron Walton. 

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our Officials that will represent Gopher State in the MSHSL girls & boys basketball tournament this year!

MSHSL Distinguished Service Award

Congratulations to retired Gopher three sport official Gary Sipe, who worked for Gopher for 32 years. Gary was selected by the MSHSL to receive a Distinguished Service Award. From the high school league website: 

This award is designed to recognize and reward those individuals who go above and beyond in service to their fellow officials. This does not require but could involve service to the MSHSL. This award is not based on the person’s ability or skill as an official but is dependent upon the leadership and service provided. This award is for officials who have made a difference through long-term service and commitment.

Gary will receive his award on Saturday, March 23 at half time of the boys' basketball tournament Class 1A championship game.


Gary joins several other Gopher officials who have received this honor since the award began in 2010. They are: 

2010 - Don Bertek, 2011 - Steve Makowske, 2012 - Arnie Mavis, 2013 - Mike Madden, 2014 - Bozo Wincek, 2015 - Greg Swan,  2016 - Paul Nesvig, 2017 - John Monson, 2018 - Clark Worthington, 2019 - Tim Litfin, 2020 – No awards due to COVID, 2021 - Mark Stange, 2022 - George Winn, 2023 - Rick DeGardner.

Congratulations Gary, and well done on your service to officiating!

Gopher State Recognition Event

The following officials have been named the inaugural rookies of the year in their respective sports. These awards will be given out at the recognition event on April 7: 

Football           Lisa Schuler

Basketball   Keesha Pringle

Baseball          Dan Kvitrud

Softball            Tom Knoblauch

Baseball/Softball Meeting

The baseball/softball annual meeting will be March 24, 2024, at the Brooklyn Park Community Center, 5600 85th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55443 from 6pm to 830 pm.  

Gopher State Board of Directors

At the Board's February 18 meeting, the Board voted to invite Toby Sackett to join the Board as an At Large member. Toby is a basketball and football official for Gopher and is excited to join the Board and work to move Gopher State forward and build upon the legacy left by Bozo and all of the other important leaders we've had over the years. Click here to see the full Board. Click here to read the bylaws and see how the Board is determined.

Gopher State Officials in Action

Last updated November 30, 2023


Bozo Wincek

A tribute page for Gopher's longtime leader Bozo Wincek has been added to the site. It is available here, or under the "About" tab up above.

WE NEED YOU! Heed the call - become an official

Interested in Becoming an Official? 

Fill out the Membership Application Form below and 

someone from Gopher State will be in touch with you soon!