Frankfort high school official gets some applause of his own
Frankfort's Bill Laude probably doesn't get a lot of compliments on the job, so it's fitting that he recently earned one of the highest honors in his field.
An Illinois High School football referee since 1962, Laude has been inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame.
“Bill Laude is a legendary high school official here in Illinois, and this national honor celebrating his career is very much deserved,” Craig Anderson, executive director of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), said in a press release. “You can find countless coaches and athletic directors who will speak to Bill’s character and professionalism as both an on-field official, clinician, and assignor. However, it is Bill’s engaging personality and ability to communicate that have allowed him to enjoy such remarkable longevity in his career. "
Laude's career started in baseball and basketball, sports that he would go on to officiate at state tournaments three times. He started officiating football in 1971, and since has worked five IHSA State Championship games.
Laude is the 27th IHSA member to person to represent the IHSA in the NFHS Hall of Fame, joining sports giants such as Harold "Red" Grange and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.