Meet TEam S.O.S.

DAN & ALICIA DiFOLCO Co-Founders

 

Dan and Alicia founded SOS in April of 2018 out of a heart for in-game sport officials and to help increase community among all believers in Christ across all sports and at every level.

Dan and Alicia married in 2015 and make their home in Ellensburg, WA where Dan graduated and Alicia currently attends Central Washington University.

 

Dan is a native of Littleton, Colorado who played collegiate baseball and studied political science. He is an active official, working as a basketball referee at the small college level and is actively cultivating relationships and partnerships within the officiating community. 

 

Dan serves closely with the operations team at S.O.S and is in steady communication with S.O.S advisors. He worked hand in hand with S.O.S advisors Pat Fraher and Darron George to host the inaugural Referees Embracing Faith (REF) Conference in 2018..

Alicia is native of Olympia, WA and is a registered dietitian currently working in a long-term care facility. She is also currently a graduate teaching assistant while pursuing her master’s degree in Nutrition at Central Washington University. 

 

Upon graduating high school, Alicia was involved with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), completing her YWAM Discipleship Training School in Colorado Springs, CO.

 

Alicia contributes to S.O.S website and graphic design.

 

Why SOS?

 

“There are many great ministries for players and coaches focused on using their roles in sport to glorify our Heavenly Father; however just like them, referees and umpires were created with a unique passion for the same reason: to Glorify God. 

 

It is our mission to unite the body of Christ who call themselves referees, umpires, judges or what have you for not only fellowship but as a foundation of faith support within our profession.”-Dan DiFolco

 

“While, I myself, am not a Sport Official, I am very aware of the lifestyle and challenges that come with this occupation, for both spouses involved. I have seen the absence of Christ in sports of all levels and I believe with all my heart that officials of faith can have a massive impact in the world of sports.”- Alicia DiFolco

 

NICK DONALDSON- Operations Assistant

 

Nick Donaldson is a native of Clatskanie, Oregon where he played football and baseball at Clatskanie High School.  He is currently attending Central Washington University, working towards a degree in business management. 

 

Nick has previously served in children’s ministry at his local churches in Ellensburg, WA and Scottsdale, AZ.

 

Nick contributes to the S.O.S social media team and collaborates with the rest of the team on various initiatives.

 

WHY SOS?

 

“I believe in the SOS vision because I see a tangible need and appetite for faith in the officiating community.  It is my hope that SOS can encourage and help members of the officiating profession at any level of any sport, to come together to share their faith walks.”

 

JONATHAN HODGSON- Communications

 

A native of Okotoks, Alberta, Canada now living in Victoria, B.C., Jonathan brings an extensive background in sports communications.

 

Jonathan is currently the play-by-play voice and a communications assistant with the Okotoks Dawgs summer-collegiate baseball team, and is a feature writer for Sports Spectrum, writing the faith stories of professional athletes. He has also completed written assignments for the Toronto Blue Jays and has been published nationally in Canada by Sportsnet.ca, and is a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network.

 

Jonathan leads S.O.S communications including writing news releases and feature articles published on the S.O.S website, including the ‘Surrender Stories’ series, as well as other website content, while contributing to the social media team.

 

WHY SOS?

 

“A successful day’s work for an official usually means staying out of the public eye as much as possible. However, at S.O.S, we believe that outside of the game, officials have an equal role to play in God’s family. We want to bring the officiating community together and strengthen their voice and confidence to serve the Lord where they have been placed.“

 

 

PAT FRAHER- Advisor

 

Pat Fraher is a veteran of 18 seasons as a National Basketball Association (NBA) referee, who has worked more than 1,000 regular season games and 42 playoff games to date, including multiple conference finals assignments.  He also worked the 2015 NBA All Star Game at Madison Square Garden in New York.

 

A native of Hastings, Minnesota, Fraher began officiating basketball at 17-years of age. He graduated from the University of Minnesota where he was a recipient of the Evans Scholarship, a tuition and housing scholarship awarded to golf caddies, and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering. 

 

Fraher worked as a referee in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) for seven seasons, and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) for four years before being hired by the NBA prior to the 2001-02 season.

 

In 2011, Fraher and fellow SOS advisor Darron George co-founded Elevate Officiating, which provides supplemental training to basketball referees.

 

Pat is an advisor for the SOS team, and spoke at the inaugural Refs Embracing Faith “REF” Conference in August 2018. His message from the 2018 REF Conference can be viewed HERE

 

Read Pat’s Surrender Story HERE

 

WHY SOS?

 

“It’s clear that we are all different parts of the one body of Christ and it
just so happened I was assigned to the officiating part.  I believe we areall called to do our role within the circles of influence that we havebeen given.”

 

 

DARRON GEORGE- Advisor

 

Darron George began his officiating career in 1993 as a high school basketball referee, and in 2000, worked his first NCAA Div. 1 basketball game.  Since then, Darron has been assigned to work in eight NCAA Tournaments, twice advancing to the regional rounds.

In 2011, George and fellow S.O.S advisor Pat Fraher co-founded Elevate Officiating Camp to provide supplemental training to basketball officials. George and Fraher were two of the primary visionaries a behind the establishment of the REF Conference and George served as emcee for the inaugural REF Conference that took place in August of 2018 in Allen, TX.

George grew up in Southern California and now lives in Allen, Texas.  Darron and his wife of 25 years, Monica, have five grown children.

Read Darron's Surrender Story HERE

 

WHY SOS?

“To whom much is given, much is required. Our responsibility in faith is to let that faith be known. REF Conference gives us a chance to look fellow officials in the eye and encourage other men and women of faith in this vocation because it is difficult. You have to stay prayed up, talked up, and you have to stay engaged in your faith during the season, and that is hard to do.”

 

TED BARRETT- Advisor

 

2018 was Ted’s 20th season as a Major League Baseball umpire.  Since joining the major league umpiring staff in 1999, he has worked four American League Wild Card Games, eight Division Series, eight League Championships and four World Series.

 

Additionally, Ted has been appointed crew chief for multiple postseason series, including the 2013 and 2018 World Series.

 

Ted has been a part of history, working home plate in the longest World Series game on record (2018, Game 3), is the only umpire to ever work the plate for multiple perfect games (David Cone, 1999; Matt Cain, 2012), and is tied for the most no-hitters worked as a home plate umpire, with three.

 

Even with his career accomplishments, the priority that is most dear to Ted is his faith and encouraging his fellow umpires and officials to grow in their relationships with Christ. 

 

Ted earned his degree in theological studies from Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburg, IN and in 2004, with fellow MLB umpire Rob Drake, co-founded Calling For Christ, a faith-based fellowship of major and minor league baseball umpires. Ted also serves with Umps Care Charities; the charitable arm of the MLB Umpires Association.

 

Ted was born in North Tonawanda, NY and moved to California at age 16 where he was a multi-sport athlete at Cal State- Hayward. Ted’s son Adam currently works as an umpire in the double-A Texas League.

 

Ted and his wife Tina have been married for 30 years, and currently reside in Gilbert, AZ.

Read Ted's Surrender Story HERE

 

 WHY SOS?

 

“The enemy wants you isolated. It’s imperative to stay in contact with colleagues and crew members, to keep pressing in to God’s Word and living it out together.”

 

JOSHUA KOCH- Advisor

 

A native of Vassar, MI, Joshua married his wife Amy in 2007 and they now make their home in Plainfield, IN with their two sons, Jack & Carter.

 

A graduate of Olivet Nazarene University, Joshua has been a basketball official since 2012, working at the high school, NCAA, and professional levels and is the worship leader at Second Chance Church in Plainfield.  

 

Joshua founded The Present Day Man in 2016. The Present Day Man is a ministry with a heart to educate and mentor men in the biblical meaning of manhood.

 

Joshua brings a valuable quality to the S.O.S team, with his combination of experience in officiating and in ministry. In August of 2018, he led worship at REF Conference 2018.

WHY S.O.S?

 

"Camaraderie is a huge piece of why I officiate. The majority of the relationships with other officials I form center around life, not basketball. I believe in S.O.S. because it creates a medium for officials to grow together inside and outside of basketball."

ALIKA ARISUMI - Advisor

Alika committed to speak at REF Conference 2019, and in the summer of 2019, officially joined Team S.O.S.  He will lead graphic design and video production, in addition to contributing in a variety of areas pertaining to S.O.S. website and social media content.

FULL BIO COMING SOON

 

Sport
Officials
Surrendered
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