Calling All Refs!
June 14, 2018
Southern Torch (3351 articles)
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Calling All Refs!

PHOTO: (The Odyssey Online)

By Staff Reports

SAND MOUNTAIN, Ala. — Any new organization is subject to find its first year filled with uncertainty and growing pains, but for the Greater Sand Mountain Football Officials Association, the first year was filled with excitement and hard work.

An association consisting of 65 members saw more than half receive state playoff assignments in year one, with three of them calling Bryant-Denny Stadium in the Super 7 at season’s end.

“It’s a testament to the quality of official that we send out on the field each Friday night,” said Eric Scott, president of GSMFOA.

“To have three officials representing us in the Super 7 our first year of existence is very special, and not to mention the number we had representing us throughout the five rounds of the playoffs all together.”

To build on this success, the association is looking to add new officials for the 2018 season.

“With the officials shortage in all sports, it’s important that we start recruiting very aggresively,” Scott said. “We have a great setup in place to learn and a great group of officials to help mentor younger guys and girls looking to get involved.”

Ben Smith is executive secretary for GSMFOA. He is also an NCAA Division III college official that worked in the second round of the Division II playoffs last season.

“To have Ben as our booking agent means a lot,” Scott said. “We have someone that works with guys like Tom Ritter, a former SEC official, but also to have 11 guys in our association that have worked state finals games throughout their career is a huge advantage for someone wanting to get started and learn.”

“We are looking for young guys or girls that just love the game. We especially welcome people that played the game and for whatever reason didn’t make it to the next level of competition, whether it be the college or pro level. We also welcome those looking to try something new that have a willingness to learn.”

If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the GSMFOA, contact Smith at 256-677-1842 or Scott at 256-673-7121. Leave a message or send a text and the men will get back in touch.

Along with Smith and Scott, the board members consist of Charlie Jimmerson (vice president/training), Brien Phillips (treasurer), Mikey Floyd (recording secretary), Jeff Day and Bill Cole (at-large).

Greater Sand Mountain has contracts with 14 schools in Jackson, DeKalb, Marshall and Blount counties.

Meetings begin July 8 at 4pm at 5 Star Sports Complex in Albertville.

“We are very fortunate to have 5 Star as our meeting place,” Scott said. “We have the video access we need for training purposes along with the indoor and outdoor field space if we chose to go that route.”

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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