ALBION — Herb Resler hasn't met a sectional basketball tournament he didn't like.
On Friday, March 7, Resler will leave his home near Albion, drive about 90 minutes to Berne, south of Fort Wayne in Adams County, and help work the South Adams tourney. And he'll do so with little, if any, incentive.
After a half-century of service to high school athletics, Resler sees no need to step away despite his "retirement.''
"As long as I'm healthy, I can't imagine not going to a ball game on a Friday night," Resler said.
And he's been to a few.
Resler, the former Goshen High School athletic director, was honored for his 50 years during a ceremony in late January at Adams Central High School. His decorated career includes stints as a teacher, coach, official and administrator. He managed three schools as an AD and served three terms on the IHSAA executive board.
Nowadays, he'll sub a day or two as a teacher at Central Noble and help steer contests for South Adams.
Maybe he'll be on hand to welcome teams and coaches, or he might be in charge of directing game referees to their assignments. The last couple of years at Adams Central, he helped run contests and helped maintain facilities.
He knows the drill from all angles and from both sides of a handshake.
"We were doing one tourney at the Fort Wayne Coliseum and they had people assigned to take care of us, getting us up that hallway from the court to our locker room," Resler said. "We're in there for awhile and I thought, 'Hey, they haven't come and gotten us. We've gotta get out there.
"We walked out of the tunnel, headed up to the floor ... the kids were already out there lined up around the jump circle. The crowd gave us a big ovation."
But friendly applause wasn't what Resler had in mind following a 1974 sectional game at Marion featuring Indiana coaching legend Bill Green and Oak Hill all-stater Monte Towe.
"It was a barn-burner. They jam-packed the old Marion fieldhouse," Resler said. "After the game, there was a knock on the door of the officials' room. You're usually a little nervous when that happens. I went to see who it was and it was Bill Green. I figured we're in for an earful."
But Green's words, Resler said, were more memorable than the game.
"He said, 'I didn't agree with all the calls tonight boys, but I thought you did an nice game,"' Resler recalled. "Then he said, 'I'm going fishing."'
There will be no "Gone Fishin''' signs for Resler, though. There's still too much competitive fuel in his tank.
"I've enjoyed a good run, a good career ... I enjoy the young people, the school setting," he said. "And it was always a thrill for me to go out in the center of a basketball court to start a big game."
Big games followed Resler during a 31-year run in the Goshen Community Schools, mostly because of the big-game coaches on his staff.
Names like Ken Mirer, John Dechant, DeVon Hoffman, Rose Kettlebar, Carl Weaver, Rick Clark and Dori Keyser formed the foundation to the Redskins' coaching staff in the 1970s and '80s and put GHS athletics on a full Elkhart County map.
The crown jewels of the department were the annual Goshen Relays and three trips to the state football finals between 1978 and 1988.
"I almost came to the point where we were spoiled because of the great coaches we had," Resler said. "I probably got more credit than I deserved, but I was fortunate to be able to have those people and we kept the same staff year after year."
"Great community, great administration. I've told this to many people, but I pretty much know for a fact that there will never be a time equal to the 1980s for Goshen High School."