Key's Hyson answers call again as a baseball umpire

April 06, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

The winter wrestling wars are over. Spring is here.

Bill Hyson now is making the calls on the field instead of reacting to them on the sidelines.

The Francis Scott Key wrestling coach is beginning his 15th season as a high school baseball and softball umpire in Carroll County.

Some people might think Hyson would want to get away from sports after a busy fall -- he's also an assistant football coach at Key -- and winter schedule.

But Hyson can't seem to leave baseball, which was his first love as a youngster.

"I wanted to stay involved in baseball when I gave up coaching JV baseball at Key to take over the head wrestling job," Hyson said. "Of the three sports I've played and coached, I've probably been around baseball the longest. I was playing baseball when I was 8."

Hyson was a catcher, outfielder and first baseman and "handled myself OK. I played in the summer leagues and in high school."

Hyson presents the perfect picture of an umpire when he walks on the field. He's tall, strong and looks in control.

"The important part of it is to be authoritative in your calls," said Hyson. "If you seem unsure you get in trouble."

Hyson can let everybody know he is in charge with his booming voice, but he never tries to become the whole show.

"I guess my demeanor keeps me from ever making too much of a scene over anything as an umpire or a coach," Hyson said. "The fact that I'm a coach helps me see both sides. I try to let the coaches have their say, just like the wrestling officials let me have my say.

"If they know you're hustling and getting into position to make the call, they have no problem with you. If you have a good day as an umpire, you'll be a non-factor in the game. Fortunately I've had more good days than bad."

However, there have been some rough moments for Hyson.

"I've had some coaches get upset with me," he said. "Umpiring is a humbling experience for a coach. You can't sit back and analyze a call like a coach can. You don't have the luxury of hashing it over."

That's not to say he never has disagreements with referees. In a Feb. 3 wrestling match against North Carroll, Hyson could have been forgiven for getting upset over a call by wrestling official Rich Logue.

Logue first awarded two points for a last-second takedown to Key's Josh Bonnette that would have given Bonnette a decision over North Carroll's Eric Hott.

But a few seconds later, Logue said that time had expired when Bonnette scored the takedown and took the two points away from him and awarded the victory to Hott.

Hyson charged over to Logue, had his say and then left quietly.

"I think the fact that I'm a umpire had something to do with it [restraint]," said Hyson. "But the kids need to know you're looking out for them. But you also have to look at the long run. You can't erupt all the time."

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