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S.D. Boys' Basketball Official of the Year

David Burnett (right) of Philip has been honored by the National Federation of State High Schools Association. Presenting the award is Mark Naugle, Superintendent at Hill City Schools and former secondary principal at Philip High School, and one of Burnett’s former officiating partners.

David Burnett was awarded the 2007 National Federation Officials Association's Active Officials Award for SD during the Boys' State A Basketball Tournament in the Rapid City Civic Center on March 15 through 17.

The NFOA has sponsored Active Officials Awards for each state in all sports since 1983. The individuals receiving these awards have exemplified the highest standards of ethical conduct and moral character, have made significant contributions to high school officiating in South Dakota and are members of the NFOA. The administrators, coaches, athletes and the South Dakota High School Athletic Association salute these individuals for their outstanding service and unselfish devotion.

A graduate of Philip High School, Burnett began to referee both boys' and girls' high school basketball games in 1988. "Without my partners," Burnett said, "I couldn't have done what they say I have." Mike West was Burnett's mentor and got him started in officiating. Ronnie Coyle, Mike Kerns, Bret Sether and Mark Naugle (who presented Burnett with the award) were some of Burnett's partners. "Each of them officiated hundreds of games with me," he said. "I enjoyed working with them as well as the youth across the state through athletic contests. I am truly fortunate to have met so many good people through refereeing."

Burnett has worked a full schedule of boys and girls games each season for the past 19 years and has officiated at many district, regional and conference tournaments throughout those years. He has also been able to officiate at seven state tournaments and two championship state tournament games.

One of his most memorable moments was having the chance to officiate with his son, David Roger Burnett, in the 2005 and 2006 boys and girls seasons.

The owner of All Star Auto Sales, Burnett has two grown children, David, who lives with his wife Cori in Kentucky, and Melissa, who lives in Minnesota with her husband, Eric, and their daughter, Savannah. Burnett and his wife, Mary, have two sons, nine-year-old Keegan and three-year-old Ethan.