|Jim Scarcelli, seated on a sofa in his home, was recently inducted into the USHAA officials hall of fame.|
The Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation and the Utah High School Activities Association recognized 14 distinguished Utahans that have given a lifetime of service officiating sports contests within the state.
Among the 14 was lifetime Helper resident Jim Scarcelli.
Scarcelli was born and raised in Helper. He left for three years to serve in the Marine Corps.
Upon his return Chuck Simkins and Albert Passic approach him to join them in officiating for the school games. That was in about 1955. Then just like now the schools were in dire need of individuals to officiate games.
Scarcelli officiated both football and basketball games. When he had his preference he preferred football over basketball.
"There is just so much happening in basketball," he mused. "Turn your back for just a second and you're lost."
His most memorable time was when he was calling a football game down in Moab.
Glen Richardson was the Moab coach. His team intercepted the ball and ran it back for what they thought was a touchdown. Scarcelli threw a flag and called a Moab player for a clip. The touchdown was called back. Richardson was angry and screamed a bit as coaches are bound to do. Two weeks later as Scarcelli was again in Moab to officiate another game, Richardson called him aside before the game and apologized. He saw the play on a video and realized that Scarcelli had made the right call.
Scarcelli worked as a design engineer for the state road department before he retired. He became a widower about a year ago. He was unable to attend the induction ceremony last week because he has been battling cancer and is still not feeling up to traveling.
Scarcelli joins four other Carbon County officials to be inducted into the hall of fame. Albert Passic, Mike Dmitrich, Chuck Simkin and Boyd Bell have also received the honor.
Scarcelli remembers Passic and Simpkins officiating his games before he joined them in the officiating ranks.