Waupaca umpire officiates at state tournament
By Greg Seubert
When it comes to having a front-row seat for this year’s WIAA State Baseball Championships, Ken Dayton couldn’t get any closer.
The longtime Waupaca area baseball and softball umpire was one of 12 umpires chosen to officiate this year’s 20-team tournament, held June 16-18 at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute.
Dayton ended up working six of the tournament’s 16 games, including the Division 2 state championship game between Milwaukee Lutheran and Notre Dame and the Division 1 final between Janesville Craig and Kimberly.
State competition is nothing new to Dayton, who also referees softball, football and basketball games.
His previous trips to state include the WISAA baseball tournament in 1999; the WIAA summer baseball tournament in 2002 and 2003; the WIAA football championships in 2005; the WIAA softball tournament in 2006 and 2007; and the WIAA spring baseball tournament in 2009. He has also served as crew chief for the WIAA summer baseball tournament.
His assignments for this year’s tournament included second base for a Division 1 quarterfinal between Bay Port and Oconomowoc; first base for the Division 1 quarterfinal between Baraboo and Janesville Craig; home plate for the Division 4 semifinal between Rio and Spring Valley; third base for another Division 4 semifinal between Rib Lake and Ithaca; third base for Milwaukee Lutheran’s 4-3 win over Notre Dame in the Division 2 final; and second base for Janesville Craig’s 2-0 win over Kimberly in the Division 1 title game.
Milwaukee Lutheran had advanced to state June 16 with a 3-2 win over Waupaca in a sectional final.
“Twelve umpires from around the state make up the crew of officials for the tournament,” Dayton said. “They are placed into three four-man crews which consist of two veterans – umpires who have worked more than two state tourneys – one sophomore – an umpire making his second state tournament appearance – and one freshman – a first-time state tourney umpire.”
The umpire crew also included Nic Betts, Sun Prairie; Jerry Chepil and Tim Prince, Ladysmith; Richard Fronheiser, Columbus; Thomas Hack, Wausau; Peter Jaskulski, Franklin; Charles Morning IV, Menomonie; Rick Novesky, Wauwatosa; Joel Scott, Beaver Dam; James Spangberg, Portage; and Brent Thompson, Oshkosh.