Armed with a stack of sharpened pencils, June Mazdra has kept score at Coupeville High School basketball games for the past 25 years.
Toss in the time when she handled the book during her own school days, and her years of volunteer work reach 30.
Mazdra returns each season because she “enjoys watching the students play.”
While in the eighth grade in 1971, Mazdra was recruited by a teacher to keep the scorebook for the Coupeville Junior High boys team. She continued helping the following year and then moved up to the high school junior varsity book as a sophomore. Varsity coach Bob Barker asked Mazdra to tackle the varsity book during her final two years in high school. That earned her a trip to Spokane when the 1974-75 team qualified for the state tournament.
Washington interscholastic girls basketball didn’t begin until Mazdra was a junior in high school, but by then she was “too into scorekeeping” to try out.
Twenty years after graduating, she returned to the score table for the girls 1994-95 season.
“I did strictly girls basketball for many years,” she said. “Then I started to do both girls and boys, but with so many double varsity games, it was easier to just do both varsities.”
She is joined at the table by her husband Marty, who has worked the scoreboard or shot clock since 1993-94.
June Mazdra was born in Oak Harbor and grew up in Coupeville. Her family settled here when her grandfather was transferred to Fort Casey in 1921.
“I love the support our community gives to the school and our students,” she said.
June Mazdra, who has worked as a custodian at Coupeville Middle School for the past 14 years, likes how scorekeeping gets her “close to the action.”
“I am always one of the first people to know what is going on,” she added.
She said one of the most interesting aspects of working all these years is watching the evolution of the game.
While she almost always likes the games, she said it is sad when she sees “teams being unsportsmanlike at times — most always the visitors.”
“Luckily that is seldom,” she added.
People working at the score table are expected to be professional and neutral.
“It is very hard at times to stay quiet,” she said. “One game, an opponent player took a swing at one of our players, and the refs didn’t see it. It nearly led to a brawl.”
She noted that it can be challenging juggling her work to make it to games on time, and she is appreciative of the school district allowing her to rearrange her schedule.
“I would also like to thank the girls coach those many years ago, Willie Smith, for helping me ease back into the game, and to Ron Bagby, the then-athletic director, for recruiting me,” she said.
Smith, who is now the athletic director, said one word, “amazing,” describes Mazdra.
“She’s the most consistent, accurate scorekeeper I’ve ever seen,” he said. “She is so good at what she does that when I coached I always went to her with any questions and knew that she was right — plus she always has good snacks.”
Boys basketball coach Brad Sherman said, “I can say with confidence that nobody is more accurate, consistent and detailed at keeping a book. If there’s a discrepancy between the program we use to keep stats or June’s book, we go with her book every single time —- without a question.”
Girls coach Scott Fox said, “She’s an absolute inspiration to everyone involved in basketball. You can tell how much she loves the kids and being a part of their lives. She’s always there, always prepared and I have yet to see a mistake come from her. In a nutshell, she’s awesome.”