Ralph Damren calls a player out during a Bangor-Augusta Junior Legion baseball game in 2014. Credit: Ashley L. Conti / BDN

Longtime baseball and football official Ralph Damren and I.J. Pinkham, the state’s winningest schoolboy basketball coach, are among members of the seventh class to be inducted into the Maine Principals’ Association Hall of Excellence during a virtual ceremony Thursday evening.

Also among the Class of 2020 are Don Atkinson, Bob Butler and Gertrude Butler, Jim DiFrederico, Jack Hardy, Barbara Krause, Fern Masse, Ann Turbyne Andrews and Bob Whytock.

Damren, a graduate of Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, began umpiring baseball in 1966 and refereeing football in 1969 and continues as an active official in both sports today. He has been a rules interpreter in both sports and has umpired in 17 baseball state championships and 15 football state finals. Damren also has served as Maine’s representative on the National Federation of State High School Associations’ football rules committee.

Boothbay Region coach I.J. Pinkham watches his team during a 2011 tournament game in Augusta. Credit: Paula Roberts / Lincoln County News

Pinkham, a graduate of Milbridge High School, has gone on to become the winningest schoolboy basketball coach in state history with 659 victories. That included teaching and coaching stints at Buckfield (1970-76) and Boothbay (1976-2020). Pinkham was recognized among the Who’s Who of American Basketball Coaches for 1988.

Atkinson, a Skowhegan High School product, was a longtime director of the MPA tennis tournaments as well as a former girls basketball coach at Falmouth and Deering high schools. He was the public address announcer for numerous MPA state championship events. He also has been a board-certified basketball and soccer official.

The late Bob Butler, a Machias native, taught, coached and served as an athletic administrator in southern Maine for decades. Starting in 1950, he collected and tabulated tournament and seasonal records for Maine interscholastic basketball. The Western Maine Conference awards the “Robert E. Butler Award” to an outstanding male and female student-athlete each year and the York High School gym is named the “Robert E. Butler Gymnasium.”

Gertrude Butler, who graduated from Bar Harbor High School, worked as a secretary to three school superintendents, and with her husband compiled the Heal Point Standings for the MPA basketball tournaments for 41 years. Gertrude and Bob Butler both received the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches’ contributor award. She also will be inducted posthumously.

DiFrederico was a star athlete at Stearns High School in Millinocket during the 1940s. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1949 and played in both the Red Sox and Chicago Cubs organizations until his career was ended by an arm injury. DiFrederico went on to become a well-known Division I basketball official and baseball umpire for more than three decades, earning numerous statewide awards. He will be inducted posthumously.

Hardy, a Livermore Falls product, taught and coached for 13 years before serving as athletic director at Greely High School in Cumberland Center for 14 years. He later served as assistant principal at Falmouth High before becoming athletic administrator at North Yarmouth Academy. Hardy received the 2004 NFHS National Distinguished Service Award and was named Maine high school track coach of the year in 1987 and 1989.

Krause co-captained the Class C state championship Freeport High School girls basketball team, then spent a year at Bowdoin College before transferring to Duke University. There, she set a school record that still stands with 24 rebounds in a game for the Blue Devils. She received the NCAIAW Scholar-Athlete Award in 1980 and in 1981 was named to the NAIAW Division I all-star team before playing professionally in Germany.

Barbara has been an attorney at Drummond Woodsum in Portland and provided legal advice and representation to numerous Maine school districts.

In this 2016 file photo, Maine Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Fern Masse (left) poses for a photo with Hall of Fame board of directors chairman Tony Hamlin, also a 2016 inductee. Credit: Jeff Kirlin / MBHOF

Masse graduated from Lewiston High School in 1953 and later returned to his hometown to spend 40 years as a teacher, coach, and athletic administrator. He coached basketball for two decades with more than 250 wins and two Class A regional titles. Masse also cofounded the Hoop Basketball Camp in 1971 and served as coach, basketball director, camp director and trustee. He is also a member and past president for the Auburn/Lewiston YMCA board of directors.

Turbyne Andrews starred in track and field at Winslow High School, where in 1975 she broke the national high school record in the 8-pound shot put with a best of 52 feet, 6 1/2 inches. She won that event at the 1975 Junior National Track and Field Championship and placed sixth at the Senior Nationals. She went on to win the Senior National championship a year later and finished second in both 1978 and 1979 before placing second at the 1980 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Turbyne Andrews also won her division of the National Powerlifting Championships from 1978 to 1980, breaking four world records.

The late Whytock, a Mexico High School product, taught and coached football at Williams High in Oakland and Cony High in Augusta. He began refereeing high school basketball in 1952 and became the Class A basketball tournament director in Augusta in 1974 and also served that role for the Class A event at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland while continuing his work with Classes B, C, and D in Augusta.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...