Donna Rackie

Donna grew up in Middletown, CT and played multiple sports for the Tigers during her years there, graduating in 1983. Her favorite sport was volleyball where she played has setter for 4 years; junior and senior years on the Varsity Squad and Captain her senior year. Coach Paul Cavaliere led her team to the state semifinal in 1982.

Donna continued her volleyball career as a freshman walk-on for the Bentley University Falcons in the fall of 1983. Coach Sandy Hoffman was a second-year coach and a great influence. Sandy improved the team from an average season of 19 – 12 to a successful 40 – 7 and was later inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame. In Donna’s senior year they traveled to Alaska to defeat the University of Alaska and the University of Fairbanks. Donna was named the MVP in her senior year and the Falcons won the Northeast- 10 tournament for the first time and Bentley’s history.

After graduating from college, Donna looked to continue her involvement in volleyball. Fran Vandemeer, a fellow Hall of Famer, trained Donna to become an official. Also tutored by Hall of Fame official Tony Aretakis, she officiated many high school girls’ volleyball games, SCC tournament games and state-level tournament games. After 32 years of officiating she plans to continue as an official for the Southern Board. Donna has also officiated boys’ volleyball for 24 years and serves on the CIAC boys’ volleyball committee.

Beyond officiating, Donna’s involvement includes being an instrumental member of the committee that created the Southern Board of Volleyball Officials. She also continues to assist with mentoring, training, and rating new officials. She has served the SCVBO as the training coordinator for five years and also volunteers to officiate the Connecticut Special Olympics volleyball matches.

Donna resides in Wallingford with her husband David and her children Deanna and Derek.

Cathy Vitelli

Cathy-Beth’s volleyball experience began as a player at West Haven High School. She and her team were finalists in a State Championship game and she was named to the All-State team. She also played at Southern Connecticut State College where she was a four-year starter and played in the National Tournament. She was an assistant coach at Southern in 1975.

Cathy-Beth’s career as an official began in 1972 when she worked high school matches as well as men and women’s collegiate matches and tournaments. In 2003 and continuing to the present, she has officiated scholastic girls’ matches including league and state tournaments and state final matches. She has also officiated boys’ volleyball state tournaments including state finals matches. From 2004 to the present, Cathy-Beth has served as a mentor to the Southern Connecticut Officials Board. She is an approved evaluator to assist the trainer, assigner, and official with development and training. She assists with classes and virtually every aspect of officiating enhancement and supports new and veteran officials to grow their skills and learn new ones. Also during that time until 2015, Cathy-Beth served as a trainer for the board as well, recruiting new officials and training them in play situations, conduct, management, control, and professionalism. Her responsibility included conducting clinics for education, evaluation, and certification testing of officials.

Lastly, Cathy- Beth is the rules interpreter for the board. She is responsible for presenting new rules to the Board of Officials annually. She also clarifies the rules and play situations during the season for officials and coaches. As player and coach, Cathy-Beth was preparing to begin her true calling – as an outstanding official at every level.

Shirley Breuer

shirley

Shirley Breuer’s involvement in volleyball began in 1975 when Newington High School started a program in her sophomore year. She was awarded the Coaches Award that sea-son in recognition of her dedication toward improvement. Her dad, seeing how much she loved the sport, laid out a volleyball court in the backyard that summer so she could prac-tice her setting skills with one of her teammates. Under the guidance of Coach Willa Eckersley, the team went on to win the Central Valley Conference in 1977 and finished 7th in the state. Stats weren’t “in vogue” during those days, but she might still hold the school serving record- acing 17 in a row! She continued on, playing at UCONN and then coached E.O. Smith in 1981.

Upon graduation, Shirley played recreationally in the Newington League where her team won championships in 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1987. She played (and officiated) in the Nutmeg Games, winning silver medals in 1990 and 1991 and capturing gold in 1993 and 1995. Moving to South Windsor, she was Captain of her recreation team, “Side Out”, winning championships in 1989-1996, 1998, 2000, and 2012.

She began officiating with the CT Board of High School Volleyball Officials in 1982 and remains an active member of this board at the present time during both the Girls’ and Boys’ seasons. She was also an official on the Women’s Collegiate Board from 1983-1995 until professional obligations in her Physical Therapy career demanded more of her time.

For 28 of her 34 years as an official, Shirley has served as an Executive Board Member. She began as secretary for the girls’ board from 1982-1986 (in the days when you had to type, address and stamp envelopes for 80 members!), moved into the vice president’s position from 1986-1990 and served as president from 1990-1996. She returned to the secretarial position on this board from 2000-2010, resigning to spend time taking care of her mom. From 2011-2015 she held the dual role for secretary/treasurer of the boys’ board. She was also secretary and vice president of the college board from 1984-1993 and was the assigner during the 1994 and 1995 seasons. In addition she has served on rating/training committees throughout her career and has donated her time to officiate Special Olympics, Easter Seal Tournaments, the Cathy D’Apice Memorial Tournament, the Alana Ferrante Memorial Tournament as well as the high school girl’s/boy’s All Star Games.

Shirley has had the honor of officiating many exciting regular season, tournament and state final matches throughout her career, but perhaps the most memorable were: The 1995 Girls’ State Final – Morgan vs. North Branford in which Morgan won 15-13 in the 5th set! May 5, 2008- Lewis Mills vs. Southington Boys at Southington High School – a 47-45 rally point set that took 42 minutes!!

Marie Lavin

Marie Lavin - Official

Marie Lavin began her volleyball officiating career in 1987. Only four years later, in 1991, she officiated her first state tournament final.

Since then, Marie has officiated many matches and fourteen state tournament finals. In her incredible career, she also in one season officiated four state finals, two for girls volleyball and two for boys volleyball.

Marie has served her fellow officials as well. She served as President of the Connecticut Federation of Volleyball Officials from 2004 until 2008. Since 2008, she has served as the Assigning Coordinator for CFVO as well as serving on the Connecticut State Board of Volleyball Officials as secretary for four years and as President of the Board for two years. In addition she has recently served as the Boys Volleyball State Tournament Assigner for 2014 and 2015.

Cindy DeCarlo

Cindy DeCarlo earned her BS and MS in Physical Education from Southern CT State University and later earned her 6th Year in Administration from Southern as well.

From 1978 to 1982, Cindy coached volleyball at Jonathan Law HS in Milford. Then in 1986 she began officiating volleyball as a member of the CT Federation of Volleyball Officials, the CFVO. During this time she held the offices of secretary/treasurer and vice-president as well.

In 1995 she served as a volunteer volleyball official for the International Special Olympics held in New Haven.

In the 1998 – 1999 school year, Cindy left officiating to become an interim elementary building administrator. At the end of that year, she went back to officiating as President of the CFVO. During the years she officiated, Cindy was assigned not only regular season matches, she also officiated conference and state tournaments including finals as both a referee and a down official.

Cindy is a past member of the CIAC Board of Volleyball Officials, and after spearheading the effort for many years to bring both boards of officials under one governing body, which they are now, she has continued her affiliation with the CFVO as an ex-officio member.

Cindy retired 1n 2008 after 35 years of teaching Physical Education in the Milford Public Schools. She is currently working as an adjunct professor at Southern supervising Physical Education Student Teachers.

Val Dickinson

SS-SPTS-Val-Socks

Val attended High School at Principia Upper School, in Elsa, Illinois from 1977 through 1979 and attended Principia College in St. Louis Missouri. While in college, she was named to the all-league team her junior and senior years.

 

She played USVBA with Connecticut Women’s Volleyball Hall of Fame member Fran VanderMeer. She played for the New London Volleyball Club, and the New Britain Volleyball Club. In 1988 while playing for New Britain, they won the New England women’s AA Open Division Regional Championship.

 

Val became a volleyball official and officiated with the Fairfield Board of Officials for 12 years and also served as the board’s coordinator. As an official, she was assigned many CIAC state tournament games.

 

It was said of Val first and foremost- she loved the game of volleyball. Whether as a player or an official, she always had a tremendous amount of positive energy. When she officiated, her energy was probably the first thing the players and coaches noticed about her.

 

Val connected with everyone she came in contact with. She always wanted to be the best official she could be. When major rule changes occurred, she was willing to accept the changes and she worked hard to adapt to the new rules. She wanted to make the right calls-or no calls- at the right times, for the right reasons. She was such a good person and her personal qualities were evident in all of her interactions with players, coaches, and administrators. She had the ability to keep the game in the proper perspective and kept her sense of humor even in stressful situations.

 

Val was an excellent referee because she cared about the job she did, and she cared about the players. She kept up with the game and she was always fair and impartial in her decision-making. Her professionalism, support a volleyball, and her dedication to the sport will never be forgotten.

 

Lehigh Sports: In Memory of Mom

Stratford Star

Julie Bradley

Julie Bradley has been involved in athletics for most of her life, as a participant, coach, teacher, and official.  She attended Southern Connecticut State College from 1962-66 and play some volleyball there. After graduation she started teaching Physical Education first in North Haven (66-68), then Willimantic (68-70) and then at East Connecticut State University from 1970-74.  Julie’s girls came along in ’74 and ’76 so she took time off to “mother”. When she returned to the field she worked at the Williams School in New London where she taught, coached and was assistant athletic director for 17 years.  She taught for a total of 25 years, grades K-college until retiring in 2005.  Julie has coached track and field, basketball, field hockey and softball.

Julie got involved with officiating volleyball in the early ‘70s. Under the tutelage of her mentors Barbara Startup and Tony Aretakis she has become a much sought after official.  She is called on to work high school games during regular season and tournament play.  Julie has also been called on to help train new officials on many occasions.  After retiring from coaching and teaching, Julie got re-certified to officiate volleyball and is back doing high school and recreational matches.  Although much has changed since she left the game in the 80’s, she loves every minute of officiating and finds it very challenging and rewarding.  In addition to volleyball, she has also officiated softball, soccer, basketball and field hockey.

Julie is still an active athlete, participating and competing on the state and national levels in basketball, racquetball, badminton and track and field.  She has participated in three National Senior Olympics.  She won silver in the 1500m in 2001, silver in basketball and badminton singles and a bronze in badminton doubles in 2005.  This July she competed in the 2007 games and won a silver medal in the 60-64 badminton doubles and placed fourth in the badminton singles and 5th in 3-on-3 basketball.

Julie has been married to her high school sweetheart Barry for 41 years; they have two married daughter Keebyn and Kyndra and two granddaughters Annabelle and Jorja.

Karen B. Zealor

Karen’s involvement with volleyball began in 1974 at Maloney High School in Meriden.  Under the watchful eye of Coach Sandy Piantek, she and her teammates won 3 state championships, were runners up once, and were undefeated during the regular season 4 years in a row. Karen attended the University of Connecticut and as a freshman walk-on, she not only got herself a starting varsity position, she also got a scholarship.

Karen began officiating in 1981.  With her knowledge of the game and confident demeanor she was always in demand.  During the 15 years of her career she has officiated countless high school and college games statewide.  Karen has also been selected to referee at the Nutmeg Games, the Connecticut Special Olympics World Games.  She is a member of the Connecticut Board of Volleyball Officials and has served as both secretary and vice president.  Karen has also shared her expertise by serving on the committee to train and evaluate officials.

Today Karen lives in Wallingford with her 2 children Zachary and Rachel.

Bill Cobain

Bill was a women’s volleyball referee for over two decades. He refereed on both the high school and college level. He was an active member of the Connecticut Federation of Volleyball Officials and served for many terms as that organization’s secretary/treasurer. In addition to those duties, he serviced as an evaluator and scheduling coordinator for the board.

Bill’s enjoyment and enthusiasm for refereeing led to encouraging a number of his professional colleagues to become referees. Some of those friends remain active volleyball officials today.

Dr. Jean Mee

mee

Dr. Mee began her officiating career in 1975 during her senior year SCSC. She began officiating college volleyball in 1976 after being rated by CAIWBO as a state official. She has officiated at all Connecticut state colleges and universities including regional championships, as well as high school regular season and tournament play.

During her time as a volleyball official, De. Mee held memberships in NAGWS-CABO/CAIWBO (National Assoc. for Girls and Women’s Sports/Connecticut Affiliated Board of Officials and Connecticut Affiliated Intercollegiate Women’s Board of Officials) and she served as president of CAIWBO for two years. She also helped organize training and rating sessions for volleyball officials at high school jamborees for many years and hosted many rule interpretation sessions for volleyball officials.  She continued her officiating career until 1990.