Boss on the Field

Eight LHS students currently referee soccer in Lindale

Sophomore+soccer+referee+Salomao+Saboia+raises+his+flag+to+make+a+call.+He+is+from+Brazil%2C+the+soccer+country+of+the+world%2C+and+he+has+played+soccer+for+most+of+his+life.+This+is+his+first+season+refereeing.

Photo by Scott Starkey

Sophomore soccer referee Salomao Saboia raises his flag to make a call. He is from Brazil, the soccer country of the world, and he has played soccer for most of his life. This is his first season refereeing.

They grab their whistle, their referee certification badge, some gatorade and put on their yellow referee uniforms. They get in the car and head to Faulkner Park. They walk onto the field, flags in hand. They put one at each corner of the field before checking each player’s equipment and finishing with the coin toss.

Eight Lindale students currently referee for the Lindale Soccer Association. Senior Hope Williams, juniors Emaleigh Davis and Daniel Smith, sophomores Colleen Starkey, Salomao Saboia, and Elijah Bendana and freshmen Raya Rand and Jake Allen all spend their Saturdays at Faulkner Park refereeing other Lindale students ranging in age from four to fourteen.

“I am excited about the referees that we have in high school,” coach and league president Jay Telfer said. “I think it’s tremendously awesome for our younger referees to be a boss on the field, and, to me, that shows that you’re earning respect and that they’ll be able to carry that respect down the road in other things in life.”

I am excited about the referees that we have in high school. I think it’s tremendously awesome for our younger referees to be a boss on the field, and, to me, that shows that you’re earning respect and that they’ll be able to carry that respect down the road in other things in life.”

— Jay Telfer

While refereeing a game, referees must control the field where the game is taking place. They also have to keep up with the time, the crowd and the teams, as well as make quick decisions in order to make good, unbiased calls to keep the game running smoothly.

“You’re learning how to be a boss or a manger,” Telfer said. “I think that those skills you learn from being a referee will carry through to the job place. You can either fulfill your goal as being a referee for life if that’s what you want to do, but I think in a managerial position, it helps to mold you into the person you need to be for future experiences.”

For anyone interested in becoming a referee, you must first take a class that teaches them the rules of the game and gives them helpful tips from experienced referees. Aspiring referees are cautioned to have thick skin when they begin refereeing because many coaches, parents and players tend to argue calls they disagree with.

“I feel like [the referee class] helps you, but some things, the class can’t teach you,” referee Raya Rand said. “Don’t listen to the parents. You’re a ref for a reason, so you know what you’re doing.”

Referees often ref multiple games on one day – sometimes as many as six. Though many referees say it is a tiring job, it can be a fun and rewarding experience.

“[The referees] are showing responsibility as high schoolers,” Telfer said. “To me, that’s just humbling. That’s just a great experience for Lindale and for our referees.”