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Longtime Referee Earns His Stripes

  • Sharon's Harvey Kelly, left, shoots over the block of Rivendell's Shane Smith during their Division III-IV Vermont Basketball Coaches' Association all-star game in Windsor, Vt., Saturday, March 25, 2017. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Steve Gillam, of White River Junction, third from right, watches Division III boys basketball players compete in a three-point contest during half time of the Vermont Basketball Coaches' Association's senior all-star game at Windsor High School in Windsor, Vt., Saturday, March 25, 2017. Gillam was honored during the day of games for his 20 years officiating the sport. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Regan Covey, front left, of Thetford Academy, Coach Eric Ward, and Emily Emerson, of Thetford Academy, front right, cheer a teammate after a three pointer during their Division III all-star game in Windsor, Vt., Saturday, March 25, 2017. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Correspondent
Saturday, March 25, 2017

Windsor — Steve Gillam comes from a a family that has an established name for coaching boys basketball teams.

His father Bob “Stretch” Gillam, has made head coaching stops at Kimball Union Academy, Hartford, Oxbow, Green Mountain and South Royalton high schools and is currently an assistant at Hanover.

Steve’s brother Joey also had a run at Hartford High School with the boys team.

So it would make sense that Steve would follow along the family basketball trail? He did. Sort of.

Steve, a basketball official, on Saturday he was cited at the annual Vermont Basketball Coaches Association all-star event that features four games between the north and south teams and many award presentations.

While he didn’t take the coaching steps of his brother and father, Steve toiled at recreational team coaching in his younger days and spent a lot of time following his father around.

“I think he has the best basketball sense in the family,” Stretch Gillam said. “He would go to games with me and analyze what he saw. He was a tough critic.”

Maybe hanging around with his father was the reason Steve turned to officiating.

“My father would get all that parental pestering and have to deal with the same people every night,” Steve said. “I go to a gym one night and a different one the next night.”

Steve Gillam, now 45 and a chef at the Hanover Inn, got right into officiating after graduating from culinary school and is having a blast. He admitted he was humbled when told about the award.

“I was kind of taken a bit aback when I found out that 40 coaches or so were involved in the selection,” he said. “It’s a nice honor and nice to know that there are people who appreciate what officials do.”

Another person who had a good day was Windsor senior Ashleay Wilcox, who might have thought the Yellowjackets’ Vermont Division III quarterfinal game would be her last time in front of the home folks.

But Wilcox was selected for the Division III-IV South all-star team, and she made the most of it. Not only did she lead the South in scoring with 14 points as her team was a 66-45 winner, but she also won the 3-point shooting contest, connecting on 15 from beyond he arc in one minute. He total was one shot of the record.

“This has been amazing,” said Wilcox, whose Yellowjacket team made it to the championship game before falling to Thetford. “We had just one practice and our coach (Thetford’s Eric Ward) told us just to go out there and play together.”

Thetford’s Dahlia Klarich also had a solid game with nine points.

In the boys Division III-IV game, South Royalton’s Nick Howe had 12 points as the South prevailed, 90-84. The North defeated the South, 83-80, in the boys Division I-II game.

Windsor also was well represented in the Division III-IV Dream Dozen, as Olivia Rockwell was on the girls squad and fellow Yellowjackets Seth Balch and Dakota Page made the boys squad.

Yellowjacket girls coach Bruce Mackay was selected as the Division III coach of the Year. Also making the girls Dream Dozen were the Rivendell duo of Riley Thompson and Mikayla DeBois and Thetford’s Danielle Robinson. Woodstock’s Owen Pelletier and Sharon Academy’s Sam Knoerlein were also boys Dream Team picks.

Other coaches of year were Jack Carrier, of the Division III Williamstown boys, Jake Eaton, of the Division IV Proctor boys, Jack Driscoll, of the St. Johnsbury girls, Kyle Wilson, of the Fair Haven girls, Mike Osborne, of the Champlain Valley boys and Jack Rogers of the Mill River boys.

Three coaches passed the 100-win milestone — Ken Webb of the Mill River girls, Travis Paquet of the U-32 girls and Dan Elliott of the MSJ girls.

Woodstock’s Caleb Webb made the Division I-II Dream Team.

The only undefeated team in Vermont over the winter were the Enosburg Falls boys, who went 24-0.