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Moe Is Retiring

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Moe Is Retiring

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:01 am

John Habib's City Sports: We'll miss the sound of Moe's whistle
By JOHN HABIB



SAY it ain’t so, Moe.

Referee and NHIAA Hall of Fame official Moe Bilodeau is calling it a career next month.

“Officiating is my passion, but physically with my knee I can’t do it anymore,” said Bilodeau. “I’m going to need a knee replacement (surgery) soon.”

This season marks Bilodeau’s 43rd as a basketball official and he completed his 25th as a football official last fall. His basketball career will come full circle. “My very first Class L game was at Central when Stan Spirou was coaching,” said Bilodeau. “It was against Nashua, coached by (former St. Anselm coach) Al Grenert. My last game will also be at Central against Alvirne (March 4) and it’ll hit home for me when I walk off the court for the last time.”

Spirou, like most head coaches, usually doesn’t have many good things to say about officials. “Good thing you caught me in a good mood today,” quipped Spirou. “Moe cost me my head of hair back in those days.”

Spirou remembered Bilodeau just starting out as an official. “Few people were giving him an opportunity to officiate Class L games and I offered him his first chance,” said Spirou. “The thing about Moe is he lets kids play the game and express themselves. To me over the years, he’s proven himself to be one of the best officials in the state on the high school level. He will be greatly missed.”

Manchester Central head coach Dave “Doc’ Wheeler said his friendship with Bilodeau goes back to when he was 13 years old playing for a junior high team in Goffstown.

“As a coach, you want two things from a referee, communication and consistency,” said Wheeler. “Moe gives you both better than anyone. What separates him is he always shows up with a smile on his face.”

The 65-year-old Bilodeau is a father of two daughters, Molly and Kelly, and kiddingly, credits his wife, Kathy, for raising them. “She did a great job because, as an official, I wasn’t home much of the time when they were growing up.”

Al Neri, Dana Pratt, Don Winterton, Rich Zecha, Pat McCarthy and Bob Schiavone are some of the officials Bilodeau worked the most with over the years. “It’s been a great ride, lot of great memories,” said Bilodeau.

And when March 4 rolls around, Wheeler said, “I can promise you it will be a quick game. Moe’s not going to call many fouls because he’s probably got a 9 p.m. reservation at Billy’s Sports Bar that night.”

Bilodeau, inducted into the NHIAA Hall of Fame in 2012, has officiated 25 basketball championship games and 11 football title games. A job well done, Moe.

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Re: Moe Is Retiring

Post  NH12345 on Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:53 am

In my years coaching high school basketball there was no better official than Moe. He let the boys play and kept the game under control. You knew what you were going to get when he was officiating. . . he will certainly be missed on the hardwood in New Hampshire

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