Tawnya Clough, owner of Mosher’s Meats and Seafood in Farmington, has officiated middle and high school basketball and field hockey games throughout western Maine for over a decade. Joe Charpentier/Sun Journal

FARMINGTON — Tawnya Clough, owner of the popular Mosher’s Meats and Seafood, is known for her bustling business on Farmington Falls Road, but many young athletes and their families across western Maine might recognize her on the basketball court of field hockey turf.

The 54-year-old business owner has been officiating at basketball and field hockey games for over a decade from Jackman to Topsham, Paris to Waterville. Her life and travels have almost always involved sports to some degree.

Clough graduated from Carrabec High School in 1988 as a star basketball player, earning Class C West McDonald’s Senior All Star. She attended the University of Southern Maine and then University of Maine at Farmington, each for two years playing intramural basketball.

After graduating from UMF in 1994, she eventually moved out West to St. Louis, Missouri, where she played for the St. Louis Slam, a women’s professional football team. In 2009, during the last season of her three-year tenure on the team, Slam won its first national championship.

Clough moved back to Farmington in 2011 when Mosher’s Meats and Seafood came up for sale. She began taking basketball officiating classes at the suggestion of a friend who taught them. After a youth filled with soccer, basketball and softball, intramural basketball in college and women’s professional football in her 30s, Clough had an itch to stay involved in sports in some way.

“It always had kind of been there in the back of my head,” she said. “You don’t get to do much else when you own a small business. So, I thought it would be a good idea … I just enjoy it and I think there’s not as many opportunities to play sports as you get older, but there’s always some way to stay involved. Officiating was one of those.”


Clough started officiating at middle and high school basketball games in 2012 and after influence from another friend, she added field hockey to her officiating repertoire, though she never played the sport in school.

It’s a rewarding career, she said, because she sees the same things in athletes that she felt at their age: competitiveness, camaraderie and sheer fun. It has also provided more perspective to the sports many officials have claimed to know so well before going into the world of white and black pinstripes.

“We’re like, ‘Oh, we’ve played forever, so we know, we know what the game is, we know what the rules are,’” Clough said. “Then you start learning them and you’re like, ‘Oh, I really didn’t understand it from this perspective.’ You have this opportunity to learn a sport that you really love from a completely different way of looking at it and it’s just a lot of fun.”

Officiating isn’t exclusive to the middle-aged, either, Clough said. It’s also a great way for athletes leaving high school and college sports to stay involved, too. Many officials, Clough included, are trying to work with college-age students to show them officiating is an option and one that isn’t necessarily limited to high school-level sports.

“I’m trying to get into some of the high schools and kind of do some recruiting there,” Clough said. “I don’t think they ever really think about it because I don’t think it’s really presented as an option.”

Middle and high school sports are just where it starts, Clough said. College sports — whether Division I, II or II — are also in the realm of possibility. There’s also a future in officiating professional-level and Olympic sports.

“The great thing about officiating, to me, is that the sky’s the limit, depending on how hard you want to work and how far you want to go,” she said. “A lot of the people that we work with — not necessarily those here in Maine, but those (on the national level) who do training that we’ve gone to — are those Division I officials, Olympic officials. There’s that whole avenue for people to pursue if that’s what they choose to do.”

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