NEW CARLISLE – Bill Trent is hanging up his whistle after a long OHSAA high school basketball officiating career.
“I’ve been 40 years officiating 3,500 Ohio High School basketball games,” said the 76 year old Trent.
The West Carrollton resident has spent many days and nights traveling to Darke County to cover high schools basketball games and closed out a long career officiating the Greenville Lady Wave’s OHSAA DII tournament win over the Urbana Lady Hillclimbers at Tecumseh High School.
“There are so many,” Trent said of highlights throughout his career. “I have had good games and bad games. When I started out it was all two man and the three man has saved me over the years but other than that it is something I have enjoyed all these years.”
The pleasant Trent has not been one to call technical fouls on players and coaches, a trait he is proud of.
“I always try to talk to the players and coaches and not let the situation escalate,” noted Trent. “The coaches and me all get along.”
“They tell me I’m the publicity guy,” Trent added with a chuckle. “I do a lot of talking.”
Trent has seen changes over his long career but still believes in our youth, coaches and officials.
“When I was starting out there were some tough coaches,” Trent said of the old Bobby Knight coaching style. “You had the Staley boys and all that but you do your job and the coaches appreciate it.”
“When is started out reffing I worked a lot of Dayton Public Leagues that had those good players back in the day, so it was fun but now days I don’t enjoy it as much because it seems some of these kids don’t care about playing as much today.”
“There are still some good kids playing and there are good refs coming on,” continued Trent. “This week on Facebook my wife asked me if I knew this coach. It was Coach Sagester from Tri-Village saying he hates to see me getting out because the older ones really appreciate the job they do as coaches.”
Trent recently lost a good officiating friend, Bob Roach from Jamestown to COVID. The threesome of Trent, Roach and Brooks Lowe with more than 100 years of combined officiating service would often be seen on the same court calling an OHSAA high school basketball game.
“I’m going to miss the game but I still may do a seventh and eighth grade real close to where I live,” concluded Trent, “but I am done with the varsity.”
“He’s quitting every year but he’ll be back,” chuckled longtime officiating friend and OHSAA Officiating Hall of Fame member, Robert Juliano. “He’ll be back.”