In General News, Press Releases

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The New Mexico Officials Association, in conjunction with the New Mexico Activities Association, announces the Class of 2022 for induction into the NMOA Hall of Fame. The NMOA Hall of Fame induction ceremony and luncheon will take place at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Albuquerque on July 16th, 2022.

Oscar Payen

Oscar Payen began his career with the NMOA 40 years ago in 1982.  In his first year with the NMOA Oscar registered for football, volleyball, basketball, baseball, and track & field, and had another 10 years committed in Texas making this his 50th year as an official.  His contributions include serving in the positions of president and vice president of the NMOA and a member on several NMAA committees.  Oscar has represented the southwest in several championships, in basketball, football and track, and has also represented the NMOA as a Regional assignor in basketball, football, and track.

Oscar has been recognized as an NFHS Track and Field Official of the Year in 2012-13 and received the NMAA Distinguished service award in 2012.  He has also served as an official at the collegiate level for twelve years in the Western Athletic Conference and the Big West Conference, and for fourteen years in the RMAC and Western Junior College Athletic Conference and in his community, he donates his time to serve as an official in the Special Olympics basketball tournament and as a track starter at the Fabens, Texas Cotton Relays.

Dr. Ron Maestas

Dr. Ron Maestas has served for over five decades as a member of the NMOA as a basketball, wrestling, softball, and baseball official, Ron has served as mentor, group leader, NMOA Wrestling Committee representative and Chair of the Wrestling Committee.  He has been selected to the state tournament 3 times in wrestling, 9 times in baseball, 16 times in softball and 6 times in basketball, and has called at the college level in softball and wrestling.

Ron has received the NFHS Wrestling Official of the Year award in 2011, was named the New Mexico Highlands University Professor of the Year in 2020, received the National Wrestling Coaches Association, Dan Gable America Needs Wrestling Award in 2006, received a Lifetime Award in 2013 from the Genealogical society of Hispanic America, and in 2019 was only the second person in the United States to be invited and accepted into the Crown of the Cross of Charlemagne, Gateway Juan Montes Vigil.

Dr. Maestas is a member of the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame, New Mexico Wrestling Hall of Fame, New Mexico Highlands University Hall of Honor, Adams State School of Education Hall of Fame, NAIA Cross Country Hall of Fame, and the California Hispanic Sports and Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame.

Dr. Maestas’ wife Monica has been his right arm in this avocation; she has always had his uniform neatly pressed; she often travelled with him thousands of miles when he drove to the game site(s) alone and she has been his #1 fan.  Maestas has three children, Lisa Renee Dennis, Raymond B. Maestas and Dominic R. Maestas, two granddaughters Lauren Dennis and Amanda Dennis who were tremendous cross-country runners.

John Hartog

John Hartog has been a member of the NMOA for over 40 years.  During his four-decade tenure with the NMOA, John worked out of the Gallup Associations in five sports total – baseball for 5 years, basketball for 41 years, soccer for 20 years, softball for 30 years and volleyball for 43 years.  He served as an assignor in basketball, soccer, softball, and volleyball and was a local association President.  John has served on several NMOA sport committees, and was a trusted mentor, clinician, and instructor for officials in his region and all of New Mexico.

John worked a staggering 17 NMAA State Basketball Championships (six girls’ tournaments, seven boys’ tournaments and four combined boys’ and girls’ tournaments). He worked countless district tournaments in basketball and volleyball, in addition to one state baseball tournament, two state soccer tournaments, two state softball tournaments and four state volleyball tournaments.

John was named the NFHS Volleyball Official of the Year in 1994, the NFHS Girls’ Basketball Official of the Year in 2004, and last year received the NFHS Section VI Active Official of the Year.  He has had one of the most illustrious careers in interscholastic officiating in the state of New Mexico, always with an “others over self” attitude.  He was consistently willing to help new officials begin their careers in officiating and was willing to assist the NMOA in any capacity.  John was one of the most influential officials in the history of the NMOA in terms of the individuals he has mentored and his reach across the state.

John and Ruth Hartog will be celebrating their 54th wedding anniversary in August and have three children: Jeff (wife Paula), Jennifer (husband Premal), and Janelle (husband Trak).  John and Ruth also have six grandchildren: Mia, Hank, Anjali, Himani, Bella and Bodie. Each of their grandchildren are involved in sports at various levels of competition.

Dana Pappas

Dana Pappas was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on August 12, 1975, and was raised in the Southeast Heights of the Duke City.  She graduated from Highland High School in 1993 and went on to the University of New Mexico, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish in May 1997.  On July 1, 1997, Dana began working at the New Mexico Activities Association as the administrative assistant for boys’ sports and officials.  She returned to the University of New Mexico in 2000 and completed her Master’s degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Sport Administration in May 2002.  After seven years as administrative assistant at the NMAA, Dana was promoted to the position of Commissioner of Officials in 2004 and proudly served in that capacity until July 31, 2021, making her one of the longest tenured Commissioners of Officials in the country.  During her time as Commissioner of Officials, Dana was a tireless advocate for sports officials in all areas – recognition and appreciation, payment and hospitality, legislative lobbying, training, education, evaluation, recruitment and retention.  Due to her efforts within the interscholastic officiating space, in 2019, Dana became the first New Mexican to receive the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citation for Officials and was also the first New Mexican to be named to the Board of Directors for the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO).  Dana’s entire professional career has been dedicated to working with and for contest officials.

On August 1, 2021, Dana assumed the newly created role of Director of Officiating Services for the NFHS in Indianapolis. During the past year, she has continued to provide support to the NMOA from afar.  In addition to her role with the NFHS, she was recently named Chairperson of the Board of Directors for NASO for the 2022-2023 school year. Dana and her husband, Ed Drangmeister, have been married for four years and currently reside in Lebanon, Indiana.  The couple spend their free time taking road trips to live music and sporting events throughout the Midwest.  Dana’s parents, Tom and Jane Pappas, and her older sister, Michele, became a part of the NMOA family over the years through their assistance at the State Clinic and other Association events. Dana is the proud Godmother to Sean and Sebastian, (the sons of her best friend, Tamaya Toulouse), and is the honorary “auntie” to countless children whose families have allowed her to be a part of their lives. She considers the men and women of the NMOA to be her family and credits them and her two incredible assistants– Nate Acosta and Jeremy Hernandez – for her induction into the NMOA Hall of Fame, because they all gave her something to which she could be passionately committed and dedicated.

The NMOA Hall of Fame was established in the 1960s and is comprised of an elite group of accomplished individuals who have made significant contributions to interscholastic officiating in New Mexico.  To qualify, individuals must have given something extraordinary to the NMOA, the NMAA, and the student-athletes of New Mexico.  Four individuals who are the definition of service to education-based athletics through officiating are represented in the Class of 2022.

For additional information pertaining to this release, please contact Dusty Young, NMAA Associate Director at (505) 977-5385 or

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