Local umpires call National Championship softball tournament in Chattanooga

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bainbridge Amateur Softball Association umpires Rusty Josey and Charlie Godwin recently officiated games in the 2015 Amateur Softball Association USA Softball 16-year-old and under National Championship Tournament July 27 through August 2 at AR&T Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee, home of the Chattanooga Lookouts minor league baseball team.

Josey, a 1969 Bainbridge High School graduate, has officiated many baseball and basketball games in addition to softball games during his sports officiating career. He and Godwin, a 1983 Bainbridge High School graduate, credit their wives for encouraging them to pursue their officiating careers.

“I have a son and a daughter and Charlie has two daughters and we consider my wife Gwen and his wife Lisa, our heroes, for allowing us to follow our officiating dreams,” Josey said.

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This past fall, Godwin had the honor of officiating the Georgia High School Association State Class AAAA championship football game between the Buford High School Wolves and the Saint Pius X High School Golden Lions at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.   Buford won the game 55-10.

Josey and Godwin are both certified to officiate contests in the Georgia High School Association and the Georgia Independent Schools Association.
Godwin officiates high school football games with the All Star Football Officials Association based in Albany.

Josey vividly remembers one game at Centennial Field several years ago when he was inadvertently selected to go down on the field and officiate a high school football game between the Bainbridge High School Bearcats and Douglas’s Coffee County High School Trojans.

“For some reason, the scheduled game officials were not able to make it to the game,” Josey recalled. “I was a member of a radio crew scheduled to do the play by play. To make a long story short they agreed to take two men from Bainbridge and two men from Coffee County who had done some  officiating and allow them to call the game.
“I was a certified official in softball, baseball and basketball, but not in football. Me and former Memorial Hospital administrator Jim Peak, who had done some football officiating in the past, were chosen from Bainbridge and two men from Coffee County were selected to fill out the crew. We just called the obvious things like holding and off sides.”