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Monday, December 29, 2008

Week off


I had last week off from officiating and it was a much needed rest. I'll be back at it again soon enough.

It was a fun week for our children obviously because of Christmas.
The children have it easy today and it cracks me up. After Christmas was over my wife's sister went into the hospital the following day to have her baby. She had a beautiful baby girl pictured below early Saturday morning. Baby Payton
Okay okay, enough baby talk. I'm back at it again the day after New Year's officiating youth wrestling and then Jr. High the day after.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday Youth

Youth wrestling.

Let me tell you there is nothing like it. Some guys won't officiate it because it can get crazy.

At this particular tournament there are usually never any problems. It was at Mason Jr High School and they are awesome at running these events. John if you're reading this, YOU'RE THE MAN! You did a great job as usual!

There was over a 1000 kids from all over the state and neighboring states. The tournament is run efficient, the parents behave, John keeps everything in control, the kids are having a good time, we eat good, and we're not there all day.

It's unbelievable how good some of these young kids are and there technique is solid. I got to see some awesome wrestling. I had one kid that was plowing through everyone. He was really tough. But his last match of the day he ran into a buzz saw of another kid and had it taken to him. Wow! How can these youngsters be that good already! It's amazing.

When everything runs smooth the way it did, it's kind of fun to be a part of. I ran into old high friends, had some good conversations with fellow refs, and as stated before got to watch some good wrestling too.

Funny thing is, I'll be back at Mason for a couple more youth tournaments later. I have Moeller youth next weekend.

Toys, Soccer, and Basketball

My wife and I were trying to figure out where to take the kids Friday evening. Someone at work suggested we go to Johnny's toys in Northern Kentucky because they had a huge play area on top of all the toys.

So it sounded like a plan. Soon as I got off work I headed home, picked the family up, and we were off.

We had never been to this Johnny's Toys and let me say it is pretty cool for kids. We didn't have a lot of time since the play area closed at 8pm and the toy store closed at 9. Kael played for a while when we first got there and of course we couldn't leave without getting some toys. We were actually already done shopping for him and Ava, but what are the odds you can leave a huge toy store the week before Christmas and not get something? Exactly!

I joked with my wife on the way home and said kids got it made today. We drive 40 minutes away to another state for our kids to hangout for a little over an hour and pick up toys. Oh boy!

Saturday was the last soccer day for my son. He did very well considering he's only 1 and it's for 2 year olds.

The time went by so fast and before you knew it the kids were getting their hands stamped and getting their treats and it was time for us to go.

We're going to probably sign him up again but not until wrestling season is over.

A couple hours later, I had to go down the street and officiate little kids basketball. Sometimes this can be a nightmare because the parents are the rowdy ones. I was scheduled to do three games and once again everything went smooth for the most part.

The last game the coach was a little mouthy and was begging for calls that were definitely not there. His assistant came up to me and apologized later and told me I was doing a good job. In the end it was a great day overall.

Christmas Party

Last Thursday I had to turn down a few matches to officiate because of our company Christmas party.

Our department at work had to manage the evening and make sure everyone behaved so I knew it was going to be a long night.

For the most part the night went really smooth. The food was awesome and it seemed that everyone had a great time. My wife however didn't like it that I had to be gone and didn't get home until close to 11 since I'm already gone for officiating sometimes.

I got her an extra Christmas gift. Hopefully that helps. I'll be helping her later in the year a lot with her diaper cakes business.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wednesday Varsity Tri-Match Wrestling

After an exhausting three days of hardcore officiating from the previous week. I was back it again officiating a Varsity wrestling tri-match between Little Miami, Goshen, and Bellbrook.

Last year was the first time I officiated at Little Miami and they treated me real good. So naturally when they called again this year needing an official, I said of course.

Weigh-ins were at 5pm and wrestling began at 6pm. Before the match started I recognized a father from youth wrestling from previous years. Next thing I know, his son that was in youth is sitting next to him. Wow how the time flies! His son is now a freshman on the Goshen team and he looked pretty tough on that night.

We started off the night with Bellbrook vs Little Miami. Bellbrook forfeited 103-125. Tell you what. Bellbrook looked pretty tough. If they didn't forfeit so many weights they would give their opponents fits. The wrestlers they do have were sharp.

Goshen and Little Miami had some good wrestlers in their own right. In the end Little Miami came out on top of both duals.

After a long night I was ready to go home and get to bed because I had a long day ahead of me since I had to help manage our company's Christmas party the next evening after working all day.

The life of a ref continues.

Jr High Tourney

It's been an interesting past week for me. Last Saturday I reffed a Jr. High Wrestling Tournament at Mason.

I've officiated at this tournament every year since my rookie year. They always do a great job when running tournaments and they get done in a timely manner.

This was a dual tournament and it featured nine teams throughout the area and they were very competitive.

I had a first in this tournament. This was the first time I had to call a kid for stalling enough times to disqualify him. I did everything possible to not have to call it but he gave me no choice. Even his coaches were yelling for him to do something. Not a fun spot to be in but that's why we were the stripes.

After a good day of wrestling the final round came down to Loveland, Miamisburg, and Mason wrestling for the gold. There were four of us officials officiating on three mats so were alternating all day so we could get a break. The staff did a good job with the food in the hospitality room. What's funny is that official's appreciate the food as much as we appreciate an efficient run tournament.

Mason and Miamisburg both defeated Loveland in the round robin championships and so it came down to Mason vs Miamisburg for the title. I ended up officiated the dual and it was some good wrestling as usual. However the kids were a little tired after a long day of wrestling. In the end Mason ended up winning and hoisting the title. All three of those schools do a great job with their kids in the way they treat them and coach them.

Great job guys and keep up the great work!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thursday Wrestling: Elder vs Moeller

Another night of top programs battling it out on the wrestling mat. Elder and Moeller are mega rivals in about every sport imaginable. A couple years ago this was the most intense and the most difficult match that I had officiated to date.

I arrived at Moeller a little before 4:30 p.m. since I had to officiate the freshman first. Wrestling started at 5:00 p.m. sharp. There was some decent matches and it got me loose for the Varsity to come.


Now I mentioned before that I did this match a couple years ago. Last year Dan Kuhlman (pictured above) officiated it. This year we got to do it together and he was there to assist me. It truly helps a ton when you have an official of his caliber that joins you to have your back. Dan has officiated in the State Tournament the past couple of years and is one of the top officials in our association. We've officiated together a few times for the GMC tournament. So I was very glad to have him with me.

With that said, it was time to wrestle!

We started off at 145 lbs and the Moeller kid ended up on top with a technical fall. A couple matches later there was a barn burner of a match at 160 lbs. One of those back and forth matches. There were some great scrambles in this match and I had to be patient before awarding points. During the match Dan tells me great job several times in getting the tough calls right. I let him know he is pumping me up. In the end Elder came out on top 6-5. I'm already sweating.

The 215 lb match featured the number one wrestler in the country in Elder's Orlando Scales. No disrespect intended but he made quick work of his opponent with a pin in the first period. He's such a good kid.

You gotta love the heavyweights. This made for an exciting match. The Elder kid hit a headlock near the endline to score a quick two. But it didn't hold as the Moeller kid ended up winning with a pin. At this point Moeller is ahead 26-9 in the team score.


Now we're back around to the little guys and Moeller has increased their lead. At 135 lbs Elder comes on top with a Decision.

The final dual score was 48-12 and both teams, wrestlers and coaches were total class as usual. Coach McCoy of Elder said they were young but I'm sure he will have them improving over the course of the year.

For the most part the match went smooth, think I only got booed once, and no injuries. That's what I call a good night.

I may see Moeller again possibly against St. Paris Graham. I'll be reffing with Dan again at the Fairfield Invitational in January.

It was an intense couple of days of wrestling and it's only the beginning.

Wednesday Wrestling


My oh my, it was an intense night of wrestling!

This past Wednesday night I was assigned the Varsity wrestling match Beavercreek at Fairfield.

I arrived at the school about 6:00 p.m. and watched some of the Freshman and Reserve matches. A friend of mine from high school is a rookie official and he was officiating for the first time on the Freshman match. After he finished we hit the locker room and I gave him some feedback on how he did.

Pre-meet

Once the other official was finished officiating the Reserve match, he joined me as I went and spoke to the Varsity for a pre-meet conversation. I usually speak to the teams about how to line-up and some of the rule changes. Some other points of emphasis:

  • Explain to them that they need to try and focus when they line-up in the referee's position and do the proper sequence.
  • Mention that if they bring a wreslter up off of the mat, it is their responsibility to bring him back to the mat in control. Safety first!
  • Show an example of what I expect when running arm-bars and to keep them legal.
  • Talk about stalling and to wrestle aggressively and work the center of the mat.
  • Remind the wrestlers to keep their hands out of their opponent's face.
  • Talk about overtime.
  • Take any questions they may have.
Now it's time for me to stretch. I sure don't want to get hurt and want to be at my best. It's Star Bangled Banner time. Introductions. Captains to the center of the mat to decide who gets choice on odd and even matches.


Match Time!

The officials from the earlier matches had already drawn the weight class we were going to start at. Jerry (official assisting me) and I are ready to rock so 152 lbs let's go!

Now in all honesty I'm so focused on officiating to the best of my ability and I don't really try to remember everything. There are some moments that standout of course.

A few matches in and we're at the 189 weight class. It's 1-1 in the third period and the Beavercreek kid gives me no choice and I hit him with a stalling call and now it's 2-1 with 20 seconds left. He tries a last second takedown but ends up giving it up instead and loses 4-1.

A couple matches later it's the Heavyweights and they're both good wrestlers. I found out later that the Beavercreek kid is nationally ranked and he looked it too. He performed a textbook double leg high lifting takedown in the first period and ended up pinning his opponent. Very impressive.

Now we're at 125 lbs. and the Fairfield kid jumps out on top and seems to be on cruise control, but the next thing you know the Beavercreek storms back. These guys are making me work my tail off. The Beavercreek kid gives a valiant effort but comes up short and goes down 13-11.

Ok, I just mentioned how hard the 125s made me work. That was nothing compared to 135. This was one of the hardest matches I've ever officiated in all my years. For me this match basically featured Hercules vs Plastic Man. One kid seemed super strong and the other able to twist any and every way possible. Back and forth this match went. Unbelievable. There was about 20 seconds to go and the Fairfield kid is ahead 9-8. Just like that, the Beavercreek kid hits his second Peterson from the neutral position and hits it for a five point move to his back and time runs out. 13-9 Hercules. Fun and very difficult match to officiate.

Now where down to the last match and of the evening at 145 lbs and Beavercreek is winning on the team points 29-27. Whoa Nellie! The winner of this last match will win the dual for their team. If my memory serves me correct the Beavercreek kid gets a takedown and goes up 2-0. Then there is a reversal and Beavercreek runs out of bounds. So we got two for the reversal and one for technical violation so it's 3-2 Fairfield. Now on to the second period. Beavercreek gets called for locking hands and now it's 4-2. On the restart Beavercreek does an optional start. But instead of letting him go, he locks up a near cradle, cranks him to his back and that's all she wrote. I have a pin and the match is over. Beavercreek wins 35-27.

It was a very intense match and fun to be a part of. We hit the locker room and one of my peers came down and spoke to us. He gave us some good feedback and thought I was on point all night with my calls. That's always great when you can get constructive feedback from someone that is unbias and knows what it's like to be in that situation.

It was time to hit the showers and get home quick. I was really exhausted after a night like that. To be honest I usually will dream a lot about a match like that because it's so intense, exciting and a close result. However, the dream was replaced the following night because I had to officiate one of the biggest rivals in the city in Elder vs Moeller.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Saturday Wrestling

This past Saturday was my first tournament for the season to officiate.

Some decent wrestling to start the season off. I felt pretty good going into the day.

But I encountered some different things for the first time.

While officiating a heavyweight match, one of them had the absolute biggest ball of yuck coming out of his nose and he proceeded to wipe it with his hands. I yelled out for him to stop so he could wipe it off. As I went over to the table to get a paper towel he had the junk under his nose and on the side of his mouth. Funny thing is I officiated him again later on and he had it again.

Another strange thing was that one of the wrestlers took off with an anklet after their match. The PA announcer kept calling for him to bring it back to the table. Finally after about the fourth time, then announcer said "If you don't bring the anklet back it's gonna be a forfeit." I was officiating and heard this and thought you've gotta be kidding!

Boy oh boy is the season under way.

I have a busy week this week. I'll come back and post my experience officiating at Fairfield last night and Moeller tonight later on.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wrestling-Week One

The 2008 wrestling season is under way and it started for me officiating a Varsity Tri-match at Lakota East high school this past Friday. East were joined by Princeton and LaSalle. There also was Reserve wrestling on a neighboring mat.


There was actually supposed to be three of us officials but a fourth showed up so he could get some work before his following big week. Dedication, you gotta love it!

Two of my fellow official's got to the school first and did the weigh-ins. Then we got started. I must say that I had some serious cobwebs to shake off. I found myself a little to quick a couple of times on calling takedowns. They were takedowns but I should have waited a little bit longer before making the call. As the night went on it felt like old times.

It's funny because no matter how much officiating I may have done during football season, I still gotta get the joints to cooperate when officiating wrestling.


It was not only the beginning of the season for myself but also the most important people for the sport, the wrestlers. They seemed to be glad to get back at it. I can tell the beginning of the season will be an adustment for a lot of them.

Because of the new rule pertaining to the Referee's starting position (the placing of the hand of the offensive wrestler on the belly of the defensive wrestler first followed by the other hand placed on the elbow) I had to give out a lot of Cautions. It's definitely the most I've ever given out in a day. I don't make the rules but I have to enforce them.

There were some good matches and I did have one overtime match. Everyone was behaved for the most part.

I did get questioned by the coaches on a couple of calls and I definitely understand why. They were all class and had valid reasons for the questioning. I've said it a gazillion times and I'll say it a gazillion more, 'There's nothing wrong with competitive disagreement, but there is no place for disrespectful disagreement.' As usual the coaches were fine. Despite how things may seem we don't have that many problems with coaches overall.



In the end it was a successful beginning to the season. I'm not even sure what teams ended up on top for the night since the Tri's were split up in half team duals (which I like that format a lot).

My wife actually showed up and took the pictures (Thanks hun!) and after the match was over I had to meet her at Children's Hospital in the emergency room because our infant daughter had to get tested for Whooping Cough. We'll find out this week about that. However our baby girl is doing fine. We pray over her all the time and appreciate any prayers you want to send our way.

You didn't know that refs like prayer too? I'm not talking about you praying for our eyes to open because you think we can't see anything when we're officiating. I'm talking about everyday life just like anybody else.

However you can pray for my eyes to be open because I don't want to miss any calls.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wrestling Season

It's time!

After a great Thanksgiving and a long weekend, it's time for wrestling. No more off season talk because it's in season.

I have a wrestling meeting tonight then I may do a few basketball games on Wednesday. Friday my season begins at Lakota East High School for a tri wrestling match. Thursday night I'll be fine tuning my mechanics and working on the things that seem little.

I'll give an overview later this week of what the night is like from start to finish for a wrestling match from an official's point of view.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Last week before

Wrestling season.

Even though I've only had one weekend off completely from officiating, it seems kind of strange to not have to be somewhere.

Last night I did officiate basketball and once again didn't make it through the night without T-ing someone up. It's ridiculous. It's amazing how grown men can get when playing basketball. We try everything we can not to call technical fouls but they end up forcing our hand.

I officiated three games and the last one we had to throw someone out. Oh those crazy men's leagues.

Today happens to be my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving! Why? Oh come now, you know why!

Food, Family, and The Cowboys! That's right, I've watched every Cowboys turkey game since I was 8 years old. I had watched everyone with my parents until I got married. Now every other year we're at my parents and the other years I'm at the in-laws. It's not so bad at the in-laws. When the game comes on they know it's time to focus. Lol!

I have to say that I'm ready for wrestling season to start. My season starts officially next Friday. But however strange it may have seemed last weekend I appreciated the time off and the opportunity to go to soccer with my son. Yeah, I'm a proud papa!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another Weekend Off


It's been kind of nice having this weekend off. I have to take advantage while I can because once December gets here my free weekends are very scarce.

This past Wednesday I officiated some basketball and unfortunately once again I didn't make it through the night without giving a technical foul. However this technical wasn't issued for arguing or fighting but for hanging on the rim forever. I guess you could call it a little taunting since the team won by 40 plus and scored about 115 points. Their team was pretty good.

If you haven't read the posting below, Thursday night was date night and we watched a documentary on the wrestler with no arms and legs, Dustin Carter. Friday night I had a flat tire when I was trying to leave work. Somehow we ended up going out to eat at one of the best Chinese buffet restaurants in the city.


Saturday was an all sports day. My son Kael had his first soccer practice. Yeah! We signed him up for a soccer group called 'Little Dribblers' that is for 2 year olds. Kael won't be 2 for a couple of months but he taught himself how to dribble a basketball. It's amazing how good he is and his hand eye coordination is on point. He seems to be ahead of the game. Football is still his favorite, soccer second, with wrestling and basketball being a tie for third. The boy has picked up the sports all on his own with the exception of wrestling. I started with him on that when he was about nine months.


The only thing about his soccer gig is that he is impatient when it comes to warming up. He just wants to play immediately. He had to have gotten this from mom of course. Lol! Maybe not.

After soccer is over, we got something to eat and headed straight home to watch the Ohio State vs Michigan game. What's funny is I didn't hear a thing about this game all week because of the other big game, Oklahoma vs Texas Tech. We watched that game too, along with the Notre Dame game. Of course the Irish losing was the most disappointing for me. But I was happy for Syracuse's coach Greg Robinson. Hopefully both teams turn it around next year.

On top of watching all of those games, I was keeping up with the high school playoffs on the internet. What is going on here? I need to simma down.

Sunday was get your priorities in order day and we started it off right by going to the house of God for church. It's always nice to be in His house.

After church, since we have the two youngsters, we are officially a Golden Corral family. So we ate and took our sweet time. Then we came home and you guessed it, watched more football. Well I did. My wife hit Wal mart and then came home and started making more diaper cakes. Kael took a nap as well as baby Ava. Ava slept on my chest forever. We're gonna have family night tonight and relax.

Kael likes to play football non-stop in the family room. Of course I'm game. Refs like to be dads too!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dustin Carter Documentary Review


Date night was officially a success!

After leaving work today I had to immediately go to a basketball officials meeting. After the meeting I literally went across the street to Scott's house and picked up the brand new Dustin Carter Documentary.

Called my wife and decided to pick up some food before going home. Then we finally got to sit down and watch the new dvd.

Here is my official breakdown and take on it.

The dvd has four different sections. Documentary, Instructional, Day in the Life, and Scrap Book. I will say up front that I enjoyed the video very much and can't wait to watch it again. Next week we're taking it over the In-laws for Thanksgiving and my wife got all giddy because she knows that her parents will love it!

We plan to take it over my parents for Christmas.


When I picked it up tonight, Scott said my wife will appreciate the Instructional part since she used to be a personal trainer. He was right. She thought it was very important and relevant for the instructional to be on the video and was in awe of how Dustin does things that he does.

I asked her honest opinion of what she thought of it after we were done and she thought that it was really good and for a non-hollywood documentary it was a 10. She could tell that it took a lot of work to make this video. She could also tell that Scott really cares about Dustin.

The Documentary chapter was her favorite part and she almost cried once (she never cries on movies). She loved to see the inside of Dustin's life on a personal level. She thought Dustin interviewed really well and was nails. She said Scott and Dustin were both sincere and that this video served it's purpose. She added that it's worth the price and it's for any athlete, family, workplace, hospital, and sports teams. I know I said 'here's my official breakdown', but she said it all and I concur.

I've been known for being a hard movie critic and for being too honest. That's just how I am so here goes. My wife really did say it all. Wrestling fans live and die by the movie Vision Quest. We love it. However if I really stop and think I would give the movie a 6 out of 10. Documentaries are totally different than movies and I would give this a 8.5 out of 10 hollywood or non-hollywood. It definitely compares to other documentaries. I love to watch inspiring movies or documentaries and I guess this is my newest 'Rudy'.

I don't want to give to much away but it is a tie between my favorite sections, 'Documentary' and 'Day in the Life'.

These guys have definitely inspired me and I have used past videos of them several times at work. Can't wait to show this one. Any of you that decide to purchase this hopefully enjoy it as much as we did and maybe, just maybe it will bring even more fans and participants to this awesome sport.

Who knows maybe some more referees too!


Dustin and Reggie Bush. When the New Orleans Saints came to town to play against the Bengals this preseason, Dustin was asked to come into their locker room and speak to the team.

Once again you can purchase this documentary of Dustin at www.cincyfit.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Offseason Wrestling Talk

I know some people may get tired of hearing about Dustin Carter, but I for one am not.


I can think of several reasons.. He is great kid with an absolute positive attitude and positive outlook on life. When you get to know him, you don't feel sorry for him or pity him. Instead it's a pleasure and a honor to be around such a great individual.


A little after the season ended my good friend and Dustin's trainer Scott Goodpaster called me on a way to speaking engagement and Dustin was with him. Scott and I keep up with each other pretty often. Well he put Dustin on the phone and Dustin says, "What's up Blackness?" Dustin gives a little devious giggle. I answer, "Not a lot, how's it going Dusty?" Of course Scott coerced him into being bold enough to say that. Scott knows me well and we kid around a lot. Dustin must be part of the gang now too.



I guess I'm kind of posting this since Dustin and Scott don't have a blog and in case anyone is interested. Plus if it gives positive pub for wrestling I guess I'm cool with it. As I stated before Scott and I keep in contact consistently and he filled me in on some of the things that he had going on throughout the year.


Scott and Dustin flew out to California and appeared on 'The Best Damn Sports Show' and chatted it up with Chicago Blackhawks legend Jeremy Roenick. Then the next day they headed over to San Diego and hooked up with Drew Brees and LaDanian Tomlinson. That's Dustin and Brees pictured above. Scott said it was a great experience and he got to see one of his mentors in the fitness world.




The two have had a few speaking engagements throughout the year. But this past weekend they got to go to New York for the 'Journeymen Wrestling NY State Clinic'. Scott, Dustin, Coach Tom Ryan of The Ohio State University, and Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo was the speakers. Scott stated that Cejudo's Gold Medal was really sweet and nice to look at. He added that Coach Ryan was genuinely a great guy. He really liked him a lot.





He thought it was an awesome experience and that the kids really loved Dustin.




Now Dustin and Scott put in a lot of hard work on a Special Documentary on Dustin called 'No Arms, No Legs, All Heart!' It has just been released this week. Neither Dustin or Scott asked me to post this by any means but I thought I would because it's not only inspiring for wrestlers and sports fans, but for anyone period. You can check out the video below or go directly to www.cincyfit.com. You can also order it there as well.




My wife and I have a date night tonight. Our date is watching this dvd and I'll be sure to come back and give my review either tonight or tomorrow. She is really pumped up to see it.

So as you can tell I'm in high gear wrestling mode! How about you?





Monday, November 17, 2008

Wrestling in the Offseason

I just finished up my season officiating high school and college football. I still may end up getting a college playoff game next week.

I had planned on going to a wrestling meeting tonight but my wife really wanted me to come home tonight since we have a pretty busy week ahead of us and she wanted somewhat of a family night. I happily oblige. I still have a lot of dates to get my meetings in.

Now that it is almost officially wrestling season I thought I would talk about the off season a little bit.

Season's Over

When the '07-'08 wrestling season ended I immediately started officiating in the Arena Football 2 league. I consistently kept up with wrestling though. I like to stay in tune to what's going on as far as the rules and wrestlers. All of you that love the sport know how special it is.

In the summer I reffed a wrestling tournament at Mason High School and got some good work. It had been a couple of years since I officiated college guys and there were some good ones going at it. They were displaying some very slick defense. Fun time!

I watched every bit of Olympic wrestling that I could and I kid you not that my favorite moment unbiasly was watching Cejudo celebrate winning the Olympic Gold. Don't get me wrong, I loved watching Michael Phelps do his thing. But Cejudo had an awesome geniune celebration moment too. I have a nice picture of Cejudo with my good buddy Scott Goodpaster and Dustin Carter from this past weekend that I'm going to write about on later post.


David's Workout @ CFF

Speaking of Scott, September my wife, our son, and I went to his facility at Cincinnati Functional Fitness (CFF) as he invited us down to watch him workout David Taylor.

My wife has been a wrestling fan since we started dating almost 3 years ago and she got to watch David wrestle last year when I officiated him against Moeller. So she was kind of pumped to go watch him especially since she used to be a personal trainer. The previous year we went to CFF to watch Scott workout Dustin Carter and that was quite a treat as well.

Dustin and David are both awesome kids! It makes you proud to see good kids that have their heads on straight. I'm not even talk about their dedication to wrestling. Just good human beings!

David remembered that I officiated him the previous year so we talked a little bit in the beginning about the match. I told him at one point in the match I almost nailed him for stalling for playing around in the match. The key word is almost. We then talked a little about Iowa State and he talked about how great of a person Cael Sanderson is. He's really looking forward to going there.

Now this workout that Scott has him going through is no joke. David is working really really hard. The kid is absolutely amazing. Giving everything he's got. My wife couldn't stop talking about how he just has that extra level. She could see and pick up on it right away.

David is about finish but still has to pull the tires. He's taking a very quick short break and my son is getting exciting because he's only 1 but I wrestle around with him all the time. At one point I say to him, "Kael, come here." David alertly hears me and asks, "What's his name?" I stated, "You heard it right, with a K." My son Kael doesn't warm up to a lot of people but he likes Scott and David.

So now we go outside as David goes to town on dragging the tires. Ah man I was getting tired for him. My wife was too. She was very impressed. David just worked it out hardcore over an hour and it looked like he used every bit of ounce of energy he had. But yet he still looked like he could go at it for 6 minutes on the mat anyway. Unreal!

So before he leaves Scott decides to have my son Kael, David and myself take a couple of pictures. Hence the picture in this post. David has a long drive home but feels it's worth it for the workout. I don't know if I would drive that far for someone to bust my tail working out. But that's why I'm not David Taylor. Referee or not, I know Greatness when I see it.

I tell David that when I see him at the Moeller Duals ask his coach to not yell at me to much and don't get mad if I call him for stalling. We share a laugh, wish him a safe trip home, and he's off. Coach Jordan actually was pretty cool to me at last years dual. He questioned me on a couple of things which is expected. Fighting for his kids.

Before we head out, Scott shares with us something special that he is working on. It's the Dustin Carter documentary that is about to be released 'No Arms, No Legs, All Heart'

WOW!

Just when you think it can't get any better for the sport, it does!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

College Football Saturday-Week 11

In the Morning
Animations - football-04
I have to be on the road by 5:45am for College Football Saturday and I've only had about an hour of sleep.

Since my son who is almost 2 years old has bronchiolitis, he was having a hard time getting to sleep and so was I. My wife wasn't feeling well and she dealt with the baby so I had to tend to him. He's wide awake so we got up and I got him something to eat and chilled with him. It's 2:30am. I'm just wondering how am I going to be able to not only ref but be on my A-game and praying for my family's health at the same time.

Just like that it's time to get ready and meet the guys. I'm out the door at 5:30am and driving to meet the fellas at a Park & Ride. While waiting for them there is another group of guys waiting on people. Next thing I know one of them walk over to me.
I say, "Hey Ralph!" It's a fellow wrestling official. Ralph tells me "We're waiting on a few other guys and then we're taking off. " I reply, "Oh is this where you guys are meeting for the Columbus wrestling clinic?" He says, "Isn't that why you're here?" I explain to him no and that I'm meeting my crew members for our game. Funny how that worked out. Wrestling will come along soon enough.

So the guys pull up a second later, and we're off!

My stomach

Before meeting them I got a chocolate milk and some sunflower seeds to eat on the way up. BIG MISTAKE!

We're headed 3 hours up north to Wooster College as they will do battle with Wittenberg. But first the four of us are meeting the other three guys at a restaurant not to far from there for breakfast.

I should be exhausted but I'm actually doing well with not being tired, but then the sunflower seeds mixed with chocolate milk and me worrying about the family isn't setting well and now my stomach is turning like no other. It's awful. I get to the restaurant and my stomach is throwing a fit. All I can think is you've got to be kidding me.

So I'm praying for my stomach, my family, and my health so I don't get sick. I'm feeling pretty confident that I'll be fine and I very rarely get sick. So I decide to eat a little at the restaurant. This helps slightly.

We then leave and Jonesey has me cracking up! I'm cracking up laughing and this definitely helps the stomach. Jones you funny guy you!

Then we get to the game site have a little pre-game and then I take some alone time and work on the stomach. Next thing you know I get a text from my wife and my son is doing better and his breathing is no longer contracting, but the baby congestion is still there and my wife is ok. It was like spinach! Now I'm ready to rock!

Pregame

We are all getting ready and are aware that the weather report earlier in the week said it would be raining and possibly snow! Oh how we wished it snowed!

When we arrived at the school before 10:30am it was raining a little but by the time we hit the field an hour before kickoff it was fine. The weather wasn't that bad. Man was this ever a set-up!

You would have thought we were at Lambeau Field in Green Bay it got so cold and wet.

We got the captains, we got the flip, and the best team on the field will stand together for the last time this year. Let's go get'em guys!

Now you may think I'm being over dramatic by writing all this but I want to asure you that it's not the case at all. I have just had a trying few days and a odd past 12 hours, so my competitive juices are flowing! Who am I competing with? MYSELF!

Every game I'm competing and playing a game while officiating! I'm out there to do my thing and give it my best and overcome and do the things I got to do just like the players and coaches do.

It's gametime baby!

Gametime!

These two teams that are doing battle today are having a good season. From what I was told the winner has a chance for the playoffs. So just like that we have the kickoff!

But here comes rain! And the wind! And the tempature drop!

Oh my gosh were we cold. It didn't even matter that I didn't get much sleep because I'm wide awake and on my toes greatful that I'm able to officiate this year after coming back from a bad injury and after my family's health has been restored!

Now this game is like an old-school football game. You know the kind we liked to play in when we were kids. Hard hitting, smash-mouth, and MUDDY!

Yeah, the players and refs are muddy from the start. The players are pumped up and they're getting at it. At the end of the first quarter the score is still 0-0.

The home team started the second quarter with a score going up 7-0 and then add another score after an interception making it 14-0.

I had my first of two penalties for a holding on the kickoff.

Later in the quarter Wittenberg grabs an interception and return it for a touchdown. Missed the extra point and it's 14-6.

Let me tell you we are freezing cold in this game. Right before the half Wooster scores again and it's 21-6 at the half.

Needless to say that at the half we were all changing clothes. What made it so cold was the rain. So I'm out of my drenched clothes and the only thing that I wear in the second half that I had on in the first are my cleats. After halftime one of the players commented on my pants and wanted to know how they were so white and clean.

Thank goodness that it doesn't rain a lick in the second half but it is extremely windy. I'll take it. It was windy enough that it was making my face numb and my mouth was moving like a slow motion movie, but long as the rain stayed away I was cool (No pun intended).

The second half is like the first. Hard hitting and mud slinging. A lot of turnovers in this game and I guess no surprise with the weather the way it was.

In the end the home team won 27-6. Game is over and we are off the field.

End of a Great Season

It felt so good to hit the showers and get that warm water on my body. The school provided a nice lunch afterwards and we took our time eating eat and talking. We had fun this season and created some new memories. Hopefully if any of us get a playoff game we will be officiating together.

We say our goodbyes and head home. The four of us stop and get some hot chocolate. When we get back to the Park & Ride we say our goodbyes as well.

The day isn't over for me yet. My wife had sent me a text message on the way home to pick up a few items. So I hit Wal-mart and pick up some groceries and now I head home.

My boy is doing better and our girl is doing ok and looks adorable. My wife is doing fine and we have ourself some food. You would have thought I had enough of football but that isn't the case.

Two local high school powers in Colerain vs Elder are playing on tv. We start watching the game but a little after halftime we crash and go to bed.

In the morning we watch the rest of the game on DVR and see that it was an awesome instant classic double overtime game. Wow!

Just think, the weekends not over yet. Church and NFL Sunday.


What a week,

Wednesday

I can say that I'm pretty tired after this past week.

Wednesday night I officiated basketball at a Men's recreational league. I was trying to make it my mission in life for the night to not have to give a technical foul to anyone. I didn't even make it out of the first game without it happening. The game was almost over and one of the players wouldn't stop running his mouth at us. They were getting beat by 30+ and he decides to try and take it out on us. Not going to happen.

Thursday


Our son had been coughing for a few days so we decided to take him to the doctor's office. The doctor gave him a pretty good check-up and said it seemed like he had a common cold. So we went home and called it a day.

Friday

When I get up in the morning and start getting ready for work my wife tells me that our baby girl is now congested a little. It was actually starting to make me feel a little down that my kids were going through this. But then my wife started feeling bad as well. So now my whole family is getting ill and I have to leave on Saturday and be gone all day for a college football game.

Later that day I'm at work and my wife informs me that our son is now wheezing when breathing and that his chest is contracting in pretty hard. She had called the doctor and explained to him what was going on and he thought it sounded like bronchitis. He wasn't going to be in that day so we decided on going to Urgent Care when I got home.

I didn't get home as early as I would have liked but finally did make it. So I made it to Urgent Care and they diagnosed him with Bronchiolitis. They said nothign else we could really do but wait it out. So we go home and watch a little tv and try to go to bed. However junior didn't want to cooperate. Into Saturday we go.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Oh So Close

It's so close to that time of the year. You gotta love it!

No I'm not talking about Christmas. I'm talking about College football controversy NFL Playoff talk, College basketball, and WRESTLING!

Wrestling you say, yeah Wrestling!

Last night I watched college basketball and Monday night I went to our local wrestling meeting. I had a long long day at work and it mentally wore me out. Then I had to rush over to our meeting and Thank goodness my fellow official was on point. This reminded me of why we need to get to the event we're officiating in plenty of time and get in game mode ourselves.

Dan and I had to give a presentation on Takedowns and Escapes. Dan is one of the top officials in our association and has worked our illustrious State Tournament. So I was in good hands working with him as he did most of the legwork. Our meetings are great and I continue to learn from them as well.

After the meeting had to rush home and spend time with the family. It's funny that sometimes we can have a bad day and just look at the family and it makes it all better.

Tonight I'll be reffing some basketball for a Men's Recreation League. Oh boy! The only thing more dramatic than officiating this is, well nothing.

We have a cold college football game to officiate Saturday but I'm so looking forward to it! Maybe if eveything flows right I'll be able to head back home in time to attend a mammoth high school playoff game!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No Reffing This Weekend

It has been a different kind of week for me.

On Monday we had our first local high school wrestling meeting for officials. It will be wrestling in high gear pretty soon.

This is the first weekend I haven't had to referee something since mid-August. Feels strange but yet the high school football season is fast.

Earlier this week I got another call about reffing a wrestling tournament in December, but I'm already booked. This pretty much happens every year in November and December. Schools calling trying to get officials for matches.

Yesterday I was contacted to officiate Flag Football today. But I couldn't make it happen. This morning my wife and I took the kids to the YMCA. We both use to officiate basketball there but haven't for a couple of years. We will start doing it again a little and we plan to spend a lot of time there since we're going to sign our boy up for a few toddler sports. He is 1 year-old and already handles a soccer ball extremely well. He taught hisself. I had no idea.

We messed around for a couple of minutes playing soccer and when one parent found out he was 1, he couldn't believe it. Yeah, I'm a proud papa.

After leaving the Y, my wife had to go and host a baby shower for her sister. So I'm at home with the kids watching the College Football all day playing Mr. Mom.

It's actually kind of nice. But next week I'm at it again. Wrestling meeting, reffing basketball, and one more college football game.

I have an Awesome WIFE eh! You betcha!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

High School Football Playoff- Week 11

What a great night for football it was.

I arrived at the host school at 5p. The officials on my college crew had informed me that the White Hat I was officiating with in this game had been reffing for 40 years and this was his last game.

Once I arrived at the school the five of us talked about it with him before our pregame. Speaking of pregame, it was a good. We thoroughly went over our keys, mechanics, responsibilities and communication with one another. We want to be on our toes every game, but we also appreciate the opportunity, the assignment, and the votes to be doing a playoff game.

We head out to the field and the stands are already full. Check the field, talk to the coaches, coin toss, and then back up to the locker room. Now it's time to bring the teams out. I round up the home team and we hit the field. Places. It's game time.

What an electric atmosphere. Weather is absolutely perfect. The stadium is packed with home and visitor fans and it's loud. Adrenaline flowing. Ala Dick Vitale, 'It's Awesome baby with a capital A.


From the opening kickoff there was some serious hitting going on. Pads popping! It's somewhat of a defensive battle for the whole game. The home team is leading at the half 3-0 and add to the lead in the second half making it 10-0. But just like that the visitors tie it up 10-10.





Next thing you know there is about 5 minutes to go in the game and the visitors have the ball and are driving. They complete a pass and the receiver advances to the 12 yard line, gets hit, and then the defense is running a fumble back the other way for the game deciding touchdown. We get together and speak about the play to see if anyone had the runner down. No one did and there were no whistles on the play. Tough call and we all had the same thing. That ended up being the final score with the home team up 17-10.

What an absolute fun game to officiate and be a part of. We all congratulated our White Hat and talked a little bit after the game in the locker room. All the guys I had the pleasure in working with for this game were very cool and fun to officiate with. Bobby congratulations once again on a long successful career in officiating. You're ready for 'Jet' magazine now.

On a side note, my full time high school crew regulars, White Hat 'Woody' and Umpire 'Chris' had a doozy of a playoff game as well. In their game the home school was winning 19-0 and ended up losing 28-19.

High school playoff football at it's best. Just think this was only Round 1.

Ref at Work


Oh boy. Halloween is not my thing but my co-workers asked if I would wear my ref shirt to work since they were all wearing jerseys.
So of course there were all kinds of pictures taken. Mel with the Browns, Tim wearing the Steelers, Nate sporting 'Ocho Cinco' Bengals, and myself with the stripes.
The only thing we're missing in this picture is a Baltimore Ravens rep.
It was actually kind of funny because other co-workers said my shirt didn't count and it was to easy for me to wear my stripes. They were right.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

College Football-Week 9

This week's match-up featured the home school hosting the #3 nationally ranked team in NAIA.

Pregame went smooth as usual. It was Senior Day for the host school. While waiting for the Seniors to finish getting announced with their family I recognize one of the kids who was a pretty popular local wrestler. Chatted with him for a second and now it's time for the coin flip.

I will say this, the visitors played like they were one of the top teams in the country. They're QB was on point with his passes and was completing bombs. They controlled the game from start to finish.

I had one flag in the game for a defensive hold but the receiver caught the pass anyway. In the end the game was a blowout and we were out of there with a quickness.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

College Football-Week 8

It's that time again, Saturdays!

Had to get up early Saturday morning and hit the road around 6:30am to meet the guys at Cracker Barrell in Indianapolis. They left even earlier than I did as I joined them after they ate. We then carpooled the rest of the way to Wabash College.

For pregame we watched a previous game and went over the good, not to much bad, and fortunately no ugly.

It is truly amazing how fast that two and a half hours before kickoff flies by. Unreal. Before you know it I'm escorting the captains out for the coin flip, our crew is meeting on the 50 yd line with one minute before kickoff and then, Battle stations!




Wooster is the visiting team and some of their bagpipe faithful showed up to support. As for Wabash they have a great fan base as well and they're out in full force. It's game time.

Wabash comes out right away and scores on their first drive. Wooster is up to the challenge and evens it up at 7 a piece. Wabash went out back on top at 10-7 but once again Wooster answered the bell to go up 14-10.

It was great to be a part of this game because it was very very clean with only six flags (I didn't have any for this game) and some hard slobber knocker hits. Wow!

Good football being played. At the half Wabash went up 24-14.




This was a hard fought game until the end and the final score is a little deceiving. Wabash sealed the deal with a long interception return for a touchdown. The pass was tipped and the Db caught it near the sideline, ran through a tackle and stayed inbounds as he ran it back.
Everyone was great toward us. Home and visiting team, that is always nice.
After the game we talk for a short bit. The guys have reservations for a nice restaurant in Indianapolis and are eager to get there. I really wish I could have went with them, but could not since I had to pick the family up at the in-laws.
Will be back at it again next week. Special Thanks to Jim Amidon for the pics!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

High School Football-Week10

Thursday


We had some Thursday night football on our hands. The game involved rivals vying for a spot in the playoffs. Defending state champ for Division II and a Division I school trying to get the last spot in it's region.

The game was televised and there was a good crowd on hand. Unfortunately our Back Judge did not join us for the final weekend but we had an excellent back up in place.

Our pregame involved speaking to a television representative so we were all on the same page for tv timeouts. It's amazing how much extra this adds to the game of responsibility. For example I needed to look at the tv guy every time we had a score, timeout, or change of possession. There was an instance that I forgot but thank goodness we weren't going to commercial.

On with the game.

The visitors got the ball first and went three and out. On the punt, an assistant coach got a little to excited and was on the field. So right away I have our first flag on the home team's sideline. He later came up to me and apologized.

The home team wasted no time with putting points on the board. Their first drive ended with a long touchdown run scamper and we were on our way.

Their next drive ended with a highlight reel touchdown. The Qb hit the receiver with a simple short pass and it looked like he would be dropped right away. Instead he did a little Emmitt Smith like spin and and cut across to the other side of the field for a long touchdown. It was a true highlight reall TD. Just like that it's 14-0.

With only a few seconds remaining in the first half and the home guys ahead 21-0, they completed a long pass to the back of the end zone for a touchdown. Our BJ was in perfect position and smooth mechanics. Nice work Joe!

Dominate first half by the home team as they took a 28-0 lead at the half.



Second half started out the same way as the first half ended and it was quickly 35-0. Then the fun began. TV timeouts, scoring, flags. Then there was more scoring and more scoring. There was a stretch in the fourth quarter where it seemed like it took 20 minutes but only 2 minutes had be run on the game clock.

Well even though the home team was in control the whole game, the visitors never ever quit. They put on a show themselves with some big plays and tried there hardest to mount a comeback.

What an absolute fun game to officiate!

I had a play in the end zone that seemed clearly to me that the pass was intercepted. I later found out that the commentators didn't like the call and thought it was a dual possession and should have been ruled a touchdown. It's cool, they have there right to there opinion and plus I don't mind being corrected if I'm wrong. Always want to improve and get the call right. After seeing the play on tape I still have no doubt that it was an interception.

Once again even though the home team was in control from the start, the game stayed in doubt for just about most of the game. In the end the final score was 56-34.

Nice healthy game of exciting football.

We hit the locker room and have our final regular season game the following night. I think I've enjoyed this season the most so far out of any that I've done!

Special Thanks to Joe Fuqua for the pics!

Friday

Oh boy. Here we go.

We have been blessed with awesome weather for this whole football season. This night was a little chillier than others and it had rained all day.

However, it wasn't to chili for football and once we got moving we felt great. Our regular BJ wasn't able to join us once again but our HL's son joined us and did a nice job filling in. This was his third game with our crew on the year.

Our game featured a 9-0 visiting team that was visiting a 5-4 team. I'm not even going to talk about the sideline I had to deal with on this night. I try to keep this blog positive.

The host school jumped out on top 7-0 and were fired up! They controlled the whole first half. With about a minute to go the Qb fired a laser of a bomb down my sideline and the receiver was able to come up with it. It was an Awesome play! At the end of the half they tried a field goal but came up short.

The second half was a different story. The visitors ran all shotgun plays in the first half but brought the Qb under center and just pounded the ball old school. It ended up being a comeback as they won 24-13. The victory sealed the one seed for their division and region for the playoffs.

It's been a long season but I'll miss getting together with the guys on Friday night. The comaderie, the laughs, the tough calls, all of it was great.

Something I didn't mention when I first started this blog. I suffered a serious injury in the offseason reffing in the Arena Football 2 league. It seemed at one point that I may be done officiating for the year.

I Thank God, Thank Him that I was able to officiate this year. I pray he forgives me for anytime that I took it for granted. I had to miss the first week of high school because of this injury. But when I walked out on the field in week 2 for my first game of the season, I almost teared up. It really makes you appreciate the privilege and opportunity to do what we do and do it with the guys we ref with.

I miss my Friday night crew already. It's ok, I'll see some of them on the basketball court.

Good luck Woody and Chris in your playoff game this week. I have a dandy of a playoff game myself with a different group of guys this weekend.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

High School Wrestling's Doorstep

Yesterday was our required State Meeting to attend for the upcoming high school wrestling season.

The wrestling season is almost upon us. I'm still in football mode as the high school season winds down and still have a few college games left. But I have to say I am getting really excited for this upcoming season.

Last week I already received a letter to fill out to be possibly assigned to officiate a sectional or district this year.

At yesterday's meeting there were several local officials and varsity coaches that attended. We went over rule changes for the upcoming season. Some of the ones that stand out:

  • There is now a time sequence when the offensive wrestler mounts the defensive wrestler in the referee's position. The offensive wrestler first needs to place his arm around the waist and then with the other hand place it on the elbow.
  • The back flip from the standing position is now illegal.
  • The wrestler whose opponent has been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct at anytime during the match now gets the choice of position for the ultimate tiebreaker. Previously the choice went to who scored the first point.
We also went over some of last year's rule changes.

So just like that. It's Wrestler's Eve. I know you're pumped! It's OK, so am I!

To be continued

High School Football Weekend-Week 9



What a great night for football. Johnny you always wanted to be famous so here you are. John, pictured above played Back Judge for us the other night.
He normally is the Head Linesman but we had a special guest that joined our crew and he took the HL spot and we shifted John to BJ.

No college game for me this week but we had a fun Saturday night of high school football. It's late in the season and like the teams we are trying to finish strong.

Kickoff was at 7:00pm and we were ready to go. The home team jumped out on top immediately with a scoring drive and that seemed to be the way this game would continue to go.





This was the cleanest game we had all year. Only 6 penalties in the game. Only one thing out of the ordinary happened this night. Now I've seen helmets stuck together before between opposing players but never shoestrings. Shoestrings? Yeah, one player was lying down on the ground near the goalline while the opposing player was standing. It took a little bit for our Umpire to get them untangled. Nice work Chris. See that's why you got a playoff game because of your multi-tasking skills.

In the end the home team won 48-14.

We have one regular season week to go, but 4 of us have playoff games. So the season shall continue. Week 10 we have a tv game on Thursday and a Friday night game as well. I'll be back doing college games on Saturday.
Special Thanks to Bernie Rapien for the pics.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

College Football

Monday night we had a local college meeting. It was a good time and we went over several unique game situations. We also discussed rule enforcement for the situations.

It's nice when you have to go to a meeting like this and you have good discussion and learn a lot. The reason I say this is because in life we've all attended meetings that may have not been the case.

At the beginning of the meeting we all discussed what was our previous game that we officiated and any instances that may stand out.

Then we discussed rules and unique situations. After this, one of the guys had a nice powerpoint presentation that he went through.

The meeting kind of went over so we didn't get to view any videos. To wrap everyone told where their next game would be.

Our next meeting is in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

College Football-Week 6



Ah, you smell that? It's the smell of college football Saturday 80 degree weather! Just an awesome day for football.


I had to head out about 6:40am to meet some of my crew mates around 7:10am. Then we headed up to the Columbus area so we could meet the rest of the guys at Bob Evans for breakfast.


Our long drives are actually great. We talk football rules, jokes, politics, friday night football and whatever else we can think of. In the end that 2 hour drive seems like twenty minutes.


After Bob Evans, we head over to the stadium for our pregame. For our pregame we watch one of our previous games and critique any and everything that we can improve especially mechanics. I love it!


Time to hit the field. The players from both teams are pumped up and ready to go. This gets me pumped and ready to rock! I get the captains, we do the toss, it's game time!


The home team starts the scoring off as the Qb breaks off a long nice run for a touchdown, with only one problem on the play:






He decided to take a dive over the endzone. It is a touchdown but we have an unsportsman like penalty. Even though it was great form and a nice dive by rule it is a penalty.


Nothing to tricky for us to officiate on this day and our sideline was very well behaved and I was told by my peers that their sideline was great too. I think I stated this before I can I can't state it enough for the most part the coaches are great despite all the nightmare stories you may hear.


When it's all said and done the home team ends up on top with a 24-8 win.


After the game we had an Observer come in and give us some good feedback. He told me something involving mechanics that I actually caught myself doing a couple of times and it was nice that he confirmed it so I can work on it. Overall our crew was strong and had a good game.


Next week I'll be off for college ball because I may have to work. I will be working a good Saturday night high school football match-up.


Then the following Saturday I'm back with the guys for a game that involves one of the top 10 teams in the country for DIII.


Special Thanks to Stephen Lewis for the pics!

High School Football Weekend-Week 8

80 degrees the second weekend in October is not normal here in Ohio but I'll gladly take it. It was homecoming for our game this week so we hit the field early to talk with the coaches.

Everything went smooth so we were able to do the coin toss early and get out of the bands way.

Time for kickoff.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened on this night with the exception that we had to sprint the length of the field back to back plays. The home team ripped off a 70 yard touchdown run. But the visitors followed that up with a 90 plus kickoff return for a touch. I thought, oh boy here we go. Howerver, both teams settled down a little bit though after this.


Score was 17-7 , but the visitors hit a long touchdown pass right before the end of the half as the defender jumped a hair early and the ball went right over his outstretched arms into the receiver's hands to make it 17-14.
Our White Hat's game management was right on point and the game just flowed. Both sidelines were great and it was nice to be able to concentrate on the game completely and not have to worry about everyone on the sideline creeping up to close to the field and getting in the way.

In the end the home team pulled out a victory with a 24-14 final. Even though I had a college game the next day, I had enough time to go out to eat with the guys.

Next week we're off on Friday but we have a dandy of a game on Saturday night in the Pit.
Special Thanks to SKC Productions Photography for the pics!

College Football-Week 5

Whoa Nellie last Saturday was one of the strangest games I've ever done. I was the visiting official with the crew I had the pleasue of joining in week 1.

This was a fun game to do.

The first score was by the home team and it was for a 97 yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. After this is where the game got strange.

The visitors couldn't get a consistent flow on offense and the home team stayed in the redzone all day. The home team reached the redzone probably at least seven times and got inside the 5 yard line about three times. They did not score on any of these instances. They had a field goal that hit the uprights, a bothched snap or two, and another field goal late in the third quarter that was blocked and returned 95 yards for a touchdown.

So at the end of regulation it was all tied 7-7. So we were headed to overtime. The visitors won the toss and chose to have the ball first. They end up scoring and go ahead 14-7. Home team's turn and they convert a clutch fourth down. A few plays later they score a touchdown and it's 14-13. The all important extra point is next but it ended up being a problem between the hold and the snap. Ball game.

Both teams played extremely hard until the end. It was fun to be a part of this game.

After the game, we hit the showers and the Observer comes in to give us some honest feedback. That is always nice and we genuinely want it because it will only make us better. Let me say I love receiving honest feedback. I take it to heart and very serious.

The feedback for this game was good for everyone.

So that's it for this game and I'll be with my regular crew for the following week.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

High School Football Weekend-Week 7

A good Friday night match-up with possible playoff implications. The home team is 4-2, the away team 6-0.

The game is downtown and while I was headed there the traffic wasn't the greatest. So I leave work early to make sure I get there in plenty of time. I'm the first one there so I get with one of the trainers right away and get my ankle taped.

Slowly the rest of our crew start to trinkle in. Once they all arrive we get started on our pregame. During the pregame the chicken at the concession stand smells out of this world. Anyway back to the game.

It's time for kickoff. The road team breaks a long run for a touchdown early in the game and goes for two. They are successful and the score is 8-0. For the most part the visitors are in control the whole game, but it's still a game. I had five flags in the game.

Now one of the strangest things happened in this game. Our Head Linesman is a very easy going kind of guy. We have been on this crew together for five years. I have NEVER seen him get upset. Not at a coach, not at a player, and not at a fan. But the guy that was running the box with the chain crew is a referee and he had our HL on fire. The box man wants to do Varsity games but I guess hasn't been successful with landing on a crew.

It's in the fourth quarter and the offense has the ball at about the 12-yardline with 1st and 10. The defense ends up getting a 15 yd facemask penalty on the play. Our umpire walks of the yardage half the distance to the goal so now it's 1st and 4 on the 6 yd line. But we notice that the chains are laid on the ground and only the box is up showing first down. Our H has the chain guys grab the sticks and get them back in the proper place. So we're ready to replay first down. Next thing you know our H is blowing is the whistle and stopping the game. I start chuckling to myself because I figured out what is going on. The guy on the box was giving our H a hard time and yelling at him saying it should be first and goal because of the facemask. Our H explained to us after the game that he was trying to speak to him nicely and explain that in high school football a 15 yd facemask is not an automatic first down. The guy would not listen so our H had to stop the game to get him to be quiet and quit yelling onto the field and yelling about the play. NO WAY! CLASSIC!

We joked around with our H in the locker room about it. We've had coaches go off, fans get upset, players mad, and none of them never got to him, but a referee on the box gets under his skin. Truly classic.

In the end the road team ended up on top with a 16-0 victory. Didn't get to eat any of that chicken and I had to head home since I had to be at it again the next day for college ball and didn't get to eat with the fellas. The rest of our crew will be doing a high school game on Saturday night.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

College Football-Week 4

Back at it again after a week off from the college game. I love Saturdays.

It was a different kind of weekend for me. After reffing my high school game on Friday night I met one of my fellow crew mates so we could drive halfway up for our Saturday game. Kickoff was at noon, but we had to be in the locker room by 9:30am for pregame. The kicker is that the game was over three hours away.

In the end it all worked out. Four of us met north of Columbus and had breakfast in the morning and then traveled the rest of the way to the game and met up with the other three.

We were well on pace with everything. After our pregame our Referee and Umpire went to meet with the coaches and came back with a trick play that one of the teams plan to run. We made sure we were all on the same page and our Referee went back to the coaches to make sure there was no confusion on what they could run within the rules. Nice work!

I got the captains at 11:55am and we're ready to rock. Kickoff noon sharp.

We got a good competitive game from the start. About halfway through the first quarter after a score, I happen to look and see our Line Judge talking to someone near the endzone.

It's Lebron James. Sometime later in the first half I'm in position in the corner of the endzone and Lebron James is literally sitting a couple of feet behind me. This is the second time I've seen Lebron behind me at a game.

Second half is really competitive as well and I have two flags in the game. One of my flags was one of the easiest calls I ever made. But I would like to see the second one on film and see the play again as it was a close play. I'm always trying to do my best and do whatever it takes to improve.

In the end the visitors win by two in a well played competitive game. It's time to hit the road and head home. Our Side Judge was really ill and sucked it up and did a nice job as usual. I had to drive most of the way home because he was drained.

Next week I'll be at again but I'll be a visitor again on the crew that I subbed with for week 1. It's gonna be fun!

Friday Night Football-Week 6

It was a great night for high school football.
I wasn't trying to be flag happy in this game by any means, but I guess that's just how it happens sometimes.

I had 8 flags in the game and about five of them were offsides. The visitors were very disciplined. The QB was changing up the snap count and they didn't come close to a false start one time.
It was a two point game at the half but by the end the visitors won by sixteen.

I couldn't join my crew for dinner after the game since I had an early college game the next morning.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

High School Football Weekend-Week 5

FRIDAY


This past Friday night was kind of different. Because of Hurricane Ike last week the weather in Ohio wasn't that great. Several thousands of homes were without power and so were schools.

By the time Friday came around most of the schools had power restored. However as far as our game was concerned, the host school was still affected. So the host school ended up being the visiting school since the game got moved from the home school to the visiting schools field. Confused yet?

So we all get to the locker room as usual and have our pregame. Then we hit the field. We have a pretty competitive game in the first half and of course we had to focus, but maybe a little more so with some option being run. For those of you that don't understand why, sometimes these Qbs hide the ball so well that you have to make sure you see leather before you blow that whistle. One minute you think the half/fullback has the ball and then next thing you know the Qb is running up the field with ball. Don't want any inadvertent whistles.

At halftime I had to use the bathroom amongst the fans from both teams. Fans from both sides are telling me good job and good calls on specific ones that I made. Don't hear that every day. The new home team takes control of the game in the second half and pull out the victory.

We head to the locker, shower, and go out to eat at a place we haven't been before. Then it's off to home and already thinking about our next game which is the next day.

SATURDAY




On this day we have a Saturday night game between two of the top teams in the state. Joining us for our pregame in the locker room we have a guest fellow referee that we respect and will honestly share his feedback on our performance.

Time to hit the field and speak to the coaches. A few minutes later we get the captains for the coin toss, then check the game balls, and speak with the ball boys.

Let me tell you, the atmosphere was electric. Great weather and night for high school football. Tons of fans and they are abnormally loud. So loud for the opening kickoff that I needed to cover my ears.

This is one of those games that you have to be in shape to officiate. These guys did not give us a break. Both teams running no huddle offenses and one of them literally ready to snap as soon as the whistle is blown ready for play. The score was 17-14 at the end of the first quarter.

I had two flags in the game and a couple of other tough calls.

The first tough call came when the home team completed a pass to an open receiver for about a 10 yard pass with a lot of room on the sideline to run. He takes off running up the edge, avoids a couple of tacklers and just steps on the out of bounds line right in front of his team's bench. Then the fans start to boo. Comes with the territory.

Other tough call was when the visitors had the ball and the Qb throws a long pass on my sideline. I had to stay somewhat short and watch the action with another receiver. Then the ball is up in the air. Our Back Judge cheats over a little bit and helps on the play. Looking at the ball at how it was traveling, I thought for certain it was headed out of bounds and no way it would be caught in bounds. I take off to head up field and watch the defender as he reaches out and catches the football and gets down not one, but two feet. I look at the Back Judge and we both have an interception. This is why you have to be focused and ready for anything. As a wingman we have the sideline all the way to the goal line.

These two teams were up and down the field all night. As stated above the score was 17-14 at the end of the first quarter with the home team leading. By the end of the first half the visitors tied it up 24-24.

Halftime we go over a few things as a crew and discuss any questions or comments the coaches may have expressed to us.







Second half more of the same. These teams are up and down the field and executing the no huddle offenses effectively. So many big plays in this game so we were doing a lot of running. Fun game to officiate. Home team ended up winning 52-31 but the game was closer than the final score showed.

We hit the locker room, cool down, and discuss the game. Our guest ref contributes and provides some good feedback and we are appreciative. Time to go out to eat but I can't join the guys this night. Don't want to be in the doghouse with the Mrs.

Back at it again next Friday and back to doing college ball on Saturday.

Back to back nights of well played football. It was a privilege to be a part of and to officiate!