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High school sports help lovable, longtime West Michigan official stay young at heart

Edmundo Flores of Shelby has been umpiring softball and officiating wrestling for 45 years.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

Edmundo Flores’ signature as a wrestling official is spinning on his belly and slapping the mat when signaling a pinfall.

His go-to move as a softball umpire is flipping the ball behind his back to a pitcher.

Regardless of which sport he’s officiating or move he’s making, the Shelby resident and native of Alice, Texas, has stayed at it for 45 years because of the love of the game.

“Just love being around sports. I just enjoy it, really. When it’s no longer any fun, I’ll walk — I’ll be done,” said Flores, the Shelby resident and native of Alice, Texas, who recently turned 65 years old.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark and courtesy of Stephanie Moore

Flores has worked many big events in wrestling and softball, including nationals and MHSAA state finals, but it doesn’t matter to him what’s at stake: He wants to be fair and get his calls correct. He does not have a cheering interest.

Flores, who is single and has no children, does feel a connection to the players and coaches whose events he’s officiating.

Officiating is his marriage. It’s a labor of love.

Watch the video below to hear from Flores, whom CatchMark SportsNet caught up with at the Division 3 softball regional in Newaygo on June 10.

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.



  1. Jack white

    June 16, 2023 at 10:57 am

    He officiated for many of my children and grandchildren. He is the epitome of what an official should be. If I go to a game and he is on the field, I know he will do his very best. We need more men like him.

  2. Tony Menard

    June 16, 2023 at 1:03 pm

    Eddie is the greatest! 🥎🥎🥎🥰

  3. Flores Anthony

    June 16, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    I am proud to be Edmunds cousin Edmund and my dad are second cousins from alice,texas. I always have alot of fun when working the same wrestling tournament’s it’s always a blast. Edmunds I can’t wait for the new season to be able to work with again.

  4. Bob Denbrock

    June 16, 2023 at 3:18 pm

    You’re still short Eddie.

  5. Scott Sliva

    June 20, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    Always enjoyed Eddie umpiring our games. He is always having a good time and doing a great job. Very encouraging and engaging to the players and coaches. Thank you Eddie!!

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