After just 16 years of officiating, Greg Hayes was going to achieve his goal of refereeing a state basketball championship game.
The 1980 Brazil High School graduate was thrilled to have this, potentially once in a lifetime, opportunity.
Greg was notified he'd been chosen as one of the referees for the girls state finals just a few days before the tourney which was March 8.
His mother, Jane Robbins, was proud and elated for her son. She was very excited and could hardly wait to see the game.
Jane needed to have a potentially pre-cancerous papilloma removed from a milk duct in her left breast. The surgery was scheduled March 7 in Indianapolis. Determined she was going to the game, no matter what, Jane asked if having the surgery the day before would cause any problems.
The surgeon told her the only danger would be if she got bumped in the surgical site area so they would fix her up with a protective brace. The week before the game Jane developed a bad cold.
Greg was thrilled when he was notified he'd been chosen for the state finals.
"I was really excited about it," he said. "But nervous too. With all the good parts there's some bad parts also. People expect you to be perfect and you know they'll be looking for mistakes."
Since Indiana now has class divisions for the girls as well as boys basketball, there are four games played to determine the state champions. Class A and 2A are played in the morning. The larger schools, Class 3A and 4A play in the evening.
The first game was between Class A Tri-Central and defending champion North Vermillion. Greg preferred not to do that game for several reasons.
Being a little nervous, he hoped to be able to watch the first game, observe the other officials and get a feel for the atmosphere.
Also, Greg had officiated North Vermillion three times earlier in the year. He was friends with the coaches and personally knew the families of some of the players. And the defending champions had a 50 game winning streak on the line.