The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Longtime area sports official Larry Sholl was recently inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of fame at a ceremony on April 28, in Bloomington.
The banquet is one of the premier events of its kind, and is an opportunity to honor those coaches, players, officials, friends, and news media who make Illinois basketball what it is today.
Sholl, a Galesburg native, retired his referee whistle and stripes for the final time last February at Galesburg High School, where he was presented with the game ball, and a brief ceremony announcing his retirement.
Larry's career began in 1967, but he did not keep an actual count of games worked in that time. Official records are not available, however 44 years of officiating sporting events has allowed Larry to watch a multitude of games from a unique perspective.
If you know Larry Sholl, you know that he is a people person, and could probably tell you a story about most of the games he has worked. The friendships he has made along the way is the most rewarding part of his officiating career.
What has Sholl been doing with his spare time in the last 40+ years? His resume includes officiating 38 regionals, spanning 1972 thru 2010, seven sectionals, seven super sectionals and two state final high school basketball tourneys in addition to literally hundreds, if not thousands of regular season games.
He officiated five National Catholic High School tournaments in Dubuque, Iowa. He has worked over 25 different holiday basketball tournaments, and has worked numerous Conference, Invitational, MLK's and Shoot-Outs.
He recalls he once tried to figure how many games he has worked, but it made him tired so he stopped keeping track.
In 1998, Larry was an inaugural inductee into the highly respected Peoria Official's Association Hall of Fame. He was also an inaugural inductee into the Galesburg Official's Association Hall of Fame in 2011, and was presented the "Lead Official's Award" which is an award presented to a veteran official who has gained the respect of his peers, and been a positive influence in helping younger officials in developing their officiating careers.
Like many working referees/officials, Sholl was active in other sports including football, baseball, and softball.
He has officiated more than 70 IHSA football playoff games since 1972.
Larry has also umpired high school, college and American Legion baseball.
He even had a brief stint refereeing high school volleyball with his wife, Joanna. (very brief)
Sholl was an umpire in the Central Illinois Collegiate League, and partnered with Gordy Kincaid, former Galesburg High School basketball coach.
Larry is retired and spends his days golfing, or watching his youngest kids' sporting events. Jacob is a freshman at Illini West, and Annie is a 6th grader at La Harpe Jr. High.
He also has two older daughters living in Peoria. Larry is married to Joanna Sholl who teaches at La Harpe Jr. High.