There’s something magical about a high school football game. It’s the taste of fall in the air, the calming glow of the stadium lights, and the sense of camaraderie in the stands and on the field. But mingled with fun is the enormous sense of pressure on the players and also on the people on the sidelines – the ones dressed in black and white vertical stripes.
Officials are an essential component of any football game. For many of them, it’s an opportunity to return to the fields they once played on themselves. It’s also a way to stay connected to their communities, teams, and families. But above all, officials are in it for their immense love of the game.
These former and current referees have served the Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia football communities – and beyond – for years. Here, they share their backstories, what drew them to officiating, and their most memorable moments on the field.
By Lindsey June