Well, for the past 3 months I have been moonlighting as a High School Soccer Referee. Soccer has always been a sport near and dear to my heart. I can remember on my fourth birthday going to play in my first game. I played all the way through my first two years of college. Since I graduated, and started working for Candace, I decided not to ref, but last fall, I got the bug again… I needed to be on a soccer field.
Growing up it was such a big part of my life. It feels like every weekend I was playing games or going to play in tournaments. Being an adult, reffing allows me to still have that same feeling of being excited for the Beautiful Game. Referees get a lot of slack, sometimes deservedly so, but the job of a referee is in no way easy, and a lot of ways more difficult than playing. Making tough calls, dealing with furious coaches and players, listening to the antagonizing parents, being out in the hot Florida sun, all make the job tough, but for me it is enjoyable. I get to be outdoors, run around on a soccer field, blow my whistle, laugh with my friends, remember the times I had as a player, and in some way give back to the sport I loved growing up.
Another part of the job that is really fun for me is seeing the development of the sport. When I started playing the Soccer community in Orlando, was relatively small compared to Tampa and Miami. It has since grown, and with the addition of the MLS team, Orlando City Lions, will continue to grow. I hope to be a part of it as long as I can.