- Associated Press - Sunday, June 28, 2015

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) - A 1990 graduate of Devils Lake High School has won an award for his officiating in a mid-level professional hockey league.

Scott Senger was honored by fellow East Coast Hockey League officials earlier this month with the Ryan Birmingham Memorial Award, the Devils Lake Journal (http://bit.ly/1Hkqnam ) reported.

He said was shocked when he received a phone call from the director of officials about the honor.

“Just because I look back at the guys picked in the past, most of those guys have 10-plus years under their belt,” Senger said. “They worked even higher levels than I do. I was really taken aback. It took me about a week to truly let it sink in that I actually got it.”

Senger grew up playing hockey in Devils Lake. He got his start as an official there when he was 17, and then got into it more when he moved to Las Vegas, where he was able to spend time on the ice and make some money.

“Another side of it too is just being able to say you’re still involved,” Senger said. “I think ice hockey is the best sport on this planet. To be a part of the game still today at this level is hands down the best part of it.”

Everything fell into place when he moved to South Carolina, Senger said, and he has been working as a part-time official for the past six years. He’s also a strength and conditioning coach for the University of South Carolina Upstate.

The East Coast Hockey League has teams across the country, including the Rapid City Rush in western South Dakota.

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Information from: Devils Lake Journal, http://www.devilslakejournal.com

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