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bobref

Farewell to the Football Field

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1 minute ago, bobref said:

What’s the IHSAA going to do to me if I do? :17_v:

There you go!:17_v:

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I know I am just restating what others have said, but I also know that there is something in just seeing how many people say something. Thank you Bob for your dedication to the game. I hope you enjoy your retirement. It may be tough though, because sitting in the stands will make it more difficult to hear all the "complaints" from the stands directed toward the refs. As a coach, I know it will be the same some day when I am just sitting in the stands as a fan. I also hope that more young people consider officiating and hope they commit the time necessary to be a great official that can last 40 years.

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Got my playoff assignment. My last game is at Freed Field, where Penn hosts Warsaw. I'm happy with that. Worked a lot of big games at Penn over the years, and every official will tell you it's a great place to work. They treat you very well there. Now let's hope for good weather.

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28 minutes ago, bobref said:

Got my playoff assignment. My last game is at Freed Field, where Penn hosts Warsaw. I'm happy with that. Worked a lot of big games at Penn over the years, and every official will tell you it's a great place to work. They treat you very well there. Now let's hope for good weather.

Be lenient on my Tigers! They'll need as much help as possible this Friday night. :14_v:

I'm not sure how easy/difficult it would be, but it sure would be neat to see a list of teams and the number of times you've officiated their games.  Off the top of your head, are there a few that come to mind as the schools you've officiated the most?

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17 minutes ago, NLCTigerFan07 said:

Be lenient on my Tigers! They'll need as much help as possible this Friday night. :14_v:

I'm not sure how easy/difficult it would be, but it sure would be neat to see a list of teams and the number of times you've officiated their games.  Off the top of your head, are there a few that come to mind as the schools you've officiated the most?

The Region schools are the ones I've officiated the most.  Places like Griffith, Andrean, Lowell, Highland, etc. Also been to Penn and Jimtown many times.  At one time or another, I've worked games involving most of the schools north of Indianapolis and west of Ft. Wayne.

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18 minutes ago, bobref said:

The Region schools are the ones I've officiated the most.  Places like Griffith, Andrean, Lowell, Highland, etc. Also been to Penn and Jimtown many times.  At one time or another, I've worked games involving most of the schools north of Indianapolis and west of Ft. Wayne.

Bob-

Did you and your crew ever ref any of our games at LC (92-95 seasons)?  If so, against whom?  Thoughts/funny in game stories regarding Coach Britton or staff?  He was a funny guy.  Not to mention a great guy and one heck of a coach.

Thanks.  Best wishes in your retirement and Go Irish!

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Thanks Bob...for everything you have brought and are yet to bring to the discussion and the sport itself. 

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Good luck Bob. I've always enjoyed your insight here on GID.  I was hoping you would get the LaPorte @ Michigan City game but, Freed Field is a great place to finish out.

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57 minutes ago, Coach Ellenwood said:

Bob-

Did you and your crew ever ref any of our games at LC (92-95 seasons)?  If so, against whom?  Thoughts/funny in game stories regarding Coach Britton or staff?  He was a funny guy.  Not to mention a great guy and one heck of a coach.

Thanks.  Best wishes in your retirement and Go Irish!

Oh, if only my memory were that good. I do remember a couple of LC games while Coach Britton was there. One of my absolute favorite coaches of all time.

There was a game vs. Munster at the old Burial Grounds. LC was very good and a heavy favorite, but Munster played them off their feet. Time was winding down and the score was tied. LC had the ball deep in their own territory and was going to punt. Munster had no timeouts, so we were facing overtime. But the snap went over the punter’s head, and the ball was downed about the LC 10 yard line. That was back before you could legally spike the ball to stop the clock, and also when the clock started on the ready for play signal when downed inbounds on a change of possession. There were only seconds left. Munster ran their offense out on the field, lined up and threw an out pattern into the end zone. All the QB had to do was throw the ball out on the track, then run the field goal team in there and kick the game winning field goal. Of course, the QB short armed it, the corner stepped in front, picked it off at the goal line and set sail down the Munster sideline. As soon as the QB let go of the ball I could see what was going to happen, and I headed for the goal line. I had a 20 yd. head start, and was a lot younger then, so the kid didn’t pass me until about the 10yd. line. As he passed the Munster team bench, I caught a glimpse of Leroy Marsh, who looked like he’d just seen a ghost. The kid got right up to the goal line and then stopped to look at the game clock. There were still a few seconds left so he (I’m not making this up) started tip toeing along the goal line to run out the clock. I yelled to him to “get in the end zone,” since the last thing I wanted at that point was to see him drop the ball, or somebody 25 yds. back up the field throw an unnecessary block or commit a foul, and watch all hell break loose. He did, and that was the ball game.

Also remember an LC game at Crown Point. CP was very good and LC, not so much. In the pregame meeting with Elmer I asked him the usual question about trick plays. He told me in a completely deadpan voice that on the first kickoff return they were going to throw a backward pass all the way across the field and return it up that sideline. I laughed ... until I realized he was serious. Crown Point took the opening kickoff and drove about 70 yds. in 10 plays. Just very methodically. So, they then kicked off and, sure enough, the returner took about 5 steps toward the sideline and then turned and threw it all the way across the field to the opposite numbers, whereupon the returner ran untouched up the sideline about 90 yds. for a TD. I looked over at Elmer and he was laughing hysterically while the return was still in progress. A lot of fun, and man, that guy could coach!

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1 hour ago, bobref said:

Oh, if only my memory were that good. I do remember a couple of LC games while Coach Britton was there. One of my absolute favorite coaches of all time.

There was a game vs. Munster at the old Burial Grounds. LC was very good and a heavy favorite, but Munster played them off their feet. Time was winding down and the score was tied. LC had the ball deep in their own territory and was going to punt. Munster had no timeouts, so we were facing overtime. But the snap went over the punter’s head, and the ball was downed about the LC 10 yard line. That was back before you could legally spike the ball to stop the clock, and also when the clock started on the ready for play signal when downed inbounds on a change of possession. There were only seconds left. Munster ran their offense out on the field, lined up and threw an out pattern into the end zone. All the QB had to do was throw the ball out on the track, then run the field goal team in there and kick the game winning field goal. Of course, the QB short armed it, the corner stepped in front, picked it off at the goal line and set sail down the Munster sideline. As soon as the QB let go of the ball I could see what was going to happen, and I headed for the goal line. I had a 20 yd. head start, and was a lot younger then, so the kid didn’t pass me until about the 10yd. line. As he passed the Munster team bench, I caught a glimpse of Leroy Marsh, who looked like he’d just seen a ghost. The kid got right up to the goal line and then stopped to look at the game clock. There were still a few seconds left so he (I’m not making this up) started tip toeing along the goal line to run out the clock. I yelled to him to “get in the end zone,” since the last thing I wanted at that point was to see him drop the ball, or somebody 25 yds. back up the field throw an unnecessary block or commit a foul, and watch all hell break loose. He did, and that was the ball game.

Also remember an LC game at Crown Point. CP was very good and LC, not so much. In the pregame meeting with Elmer I asked him the usual question about trick plays. He told me in a completely deadpan voice that on the first kickoff return they were going to throw a backward pass all the way across the field and return it up that sideline. I laughed ... until I realized he was serious. Crown Point took the opening kickoff and drove about 70 yds. in 10 plays. Just very methodically. So, they then kicked off and, sure enough, the returner took about 5 steps toward the sideline and then turned and threw it all the way across the field to the opposite numbers, whereupon the returner ran untouched up the sideline about 90 yds. for a TD. I looked over at Elmer and he was laughing hysterically while the return was still in progress. A lot of fun, and man, that guy could coach!

Don't recall that 2nd story. Maybe before my time???? Was Brad Smith the coach at CP at that time?

remember the 1st story. Matt Gunty was the LC DB who made the pick 6. That was the fall of 92. My freshman year. 

Thanks Bob. 

We tried that same KR play against Portage in the regular season of 93. Our returner, Dave Wendlinger took it right, threw it back left toward our sideline, and hit the portage KO coverage man in full stride. We were down 6-0 after about 3 seconds. Lol. They beat us, but we returned the favor at their place in regionals that year. 

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50 minutes ago, Coach Ellenwood said:

Don't recall that 2nd story. Maybe before my time???? Was Brad Smith the coach at CP at that time?

Yes, he was. Brad and Elmer were good friends. You should have seen the look on his face when that play was over.

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2 hours ago, bobref said:

Yes, he was. Brad and Elmer were good friends. You should have seen the look on his face when that play was over.

That would've been a year or 2 before my time, at least. 

I could only imagine. 

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As much of a "dump" the burial grounds was....when there was a big game, boy that place could ROCK!

a couple I could remember.....

1990 regionals vs Mishawaka. Still remember RB Jeremy Baugh breaking through the Mish D running into the end zone pointing # 1 in the air. Dreamt of that moment as a youngster. Though lc traveled to Marion the next week and lost 10-7  

1993 semistate beating homestead 40-6 I believe  

1994 beating undefeated Hammond high 15-0. They were GIGANTIC  Mike Austin  Bob Delano  Demario Watkins (rip)  they were gooooood  maybe Keith Herron was in that team as a fresh/soph  

1994 losing to undefeated portage in front of a HUGE crowd. 

1995 senior night beating lake forest Illinois. Who was lead by bobby douglas son. 

1999(I believe) losing to penn in regionals. What a game. 

Thanks again bob. 

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In view of my pending retirement, a number of people have asked me about memorable games over the span of my career. There are obviously so many that there’s no way I can recount … or even recall … them all. But here are some that stick out. In no particular order …

 

2006 Sectional Championship – LaPorte @ Penn. Penn went into the game a heavy favorite at 9-2, having lost only to powerhouse Cleveland St. Ignatius and in overtime at Ben Davis in week 2. Penn had also won 11 straight Sectional Championships. But on a cold evening before a packed Freed Field, LaPorte used a punishing ground attack to best the Kingsmen 27-7. A lot of shocked faces in Granger that night.

 

2003 5A State Championship – Penn vs. Warren Central. This was the Desmond Tardy game. He ran through, around and over the Kingsmen for a state championship record 300+ yds. rushing as the Warriors crushed Penn. Warren’s defense was led by “Brick” Graham, who later went on to play at Michigan, and who laid thunderous hit after thunderous hit on the black & gold. That’s still the best high school team I ever saw.

 

2007 4A North Semistate – Ft. Wayne Dwenger @ Lowell. Before a packed house on a frigid night at the Inferno, these two teams engaged in one of the most intense, physical high school games I ever witnessed. It was smashmouth football at its best. It came down to a Lowell field goal in the last 30 seconds, as the Red Devils eked out a 10-7 win. My ears were ringing from the sound of the collisions in that game.

 

1988 Regular Season – Portage @ Hobart.  One of the first big games I ever worked at the old Brickie Bowl. Hobart had lost at home the week before in a shocking upset to Chesterton. And now Portage was coming to town, and they were really good. They ended up really putting the wood to the Brickies, 21-8. Their second consecutive loss at the Brickie Bowl was the first time that had happened since WW II. Coming off the field that night with a police escort, I learned a bunch of new words … a lot of them from grandmas who had, apparently, previously worked as longshoremen.

 

1998 Regional Championship – Portage @ Penn. The 12-0 Kingsmen were heavily favored, but the Indians didn’t know that, or didn’t care. Portage took the opening kickoff and scored almost immediately on a long run, and went up 7-0. Penn couldn’t move and punted on the ensuing possession and, on first down, another long TD run for Portage put them up 14-0 and we were only 5 minutes into the game. On the ensuing possession, Penn had 3rd and long and their QB rolled right. I was with him and a Portage player chased him all the way across the field. Just before he got to the sideline, the Penn QB unloaded the pass and the Portage kid put two hands in the middle of his back and shoved him across the Portage sideline and on to the track. I had a flag for roughing the passer, helped the Penn kid get back on the field, and then asked the Umpire “what happened to the pass?” Of course, Portage intercepted it. The foul wiped out the interception and gave Penn a first down. They went on to kick a field goal and that field goal ended up being the margin of victory, 23-21. Craig Buzea, the Portage coach, looked at me when I explained the roughing the passer call and all he said (and Buzz could be quite loquacious when he chose to be) was “it better be on the film.” Fortunately, it was.

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4 minutes ago, bobref said:

In view of my pending retirement, a number of people have asked me about memorable games over the span of my career. There are obviously so many that there’s no way I can recount … or even recall … them all. But here are some that stick out. In no particular order …

 

2006 Sectional Championship – LaPorte @ Penn. Penn went into the game a heavy favorite at 9-2, having lost only to powerhouse Cleveland St. Ignatius and in overtime at Ben Davis in week 2. Penn had also won 11 straight Sectional Championships. But on a cold evening before a packed Freed Field, LaPorte used a punishing ground attack to best the Kingsmen 27-7. A lot of shocked faces in Granger that night.

 

2003 5A State Championship – Penn vs. Warren Central. This was the Desmond Tardy game. He ran through, around and over the Kingsmen for a state championship record 300+ yds. rushing as the Warriors crushed Penn. Warren’s defense was led by “Brick” Graham, who later went on to play at Michigan, and who laid thunderous hit after thunderous hit on the black & gold. That’s still the best high school team I ever saw.

 

2007 4A North Semistate – Ft. Wayne Dwenger @ Lowell. Before a packed house on a frigid night at the Inferno, these two teams engaged in one of the most intense, physical high school games I ever witnessed. It was smashmouth football at its best. It came down to a Lowell field goal in the last 30 seconds, as the Red Devils eked out a 10-7 win. My ears were ringing from the sound of the collisions in that game.

 

1988 Regular Season – Portage at Hobart.  One of the first big games I ever worked at the old Brickie Bowl. Hobart had lost at home the week before in a shocking upset to Chesterton. And now Portage was coming to town, and they were really good. They ended up really putting the wood to the Brickies, 21-8. Their second consecutive loss at the Brickie Bowl was the first time that had happened since WW II. Coming off the field that night with a police escort, I learned a bunch of new words … a lot of them from grandmas who had, apparently, previously worked as longshoremen.

 

1998 Regional Championship – Portage @ Penn. The 12-0 Kingsmen were heavily favored, but the Indians didn’t know that, or didn’t care. Portage took the opening kickoff and scored almost immediately on a long run, and went up 7-0. Penn couldn’t move and punted on the ensuing possession and, on first down, another long TD run for Portage put them up 14-0 and we were only 5 minutes into the game. On the ensuing possession, Penn had 3rd and long and their QB rolled right. I was with him and a Portage player chased him all the way across the field. Just before he got to the sideline, the Penn QB unloaded the pass and the Portage kid put two hands in the middle of his back and shoved him across the Portage sideline and on to the track. I had a flag for roughing the passer, helped the Penn kid get back on the field, and then asked the Umpire “what happened to the pass?” Of course, Portage intercepted it. The foul wiped out the interception and gave Penn a first down. They went on to kick a field goal and that field goal ended up being the margin of victory, 23-21. Craig Buzea, the Portage coach, looked at me when I explained the roughing the passer call and all he said (and Buzz could be quite loquacious when he chose to be) was “it better be on the film.” Fortunately, it was.

This is pure GOLD!  Bob.  Love hearing these stories.  Appreciate ya pal!

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Ok:  

How bout your best memories of small school football??   :06_v:

Just Jokes Pal.  

GOOD STUFF AS ALWAYS!!!   

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2 minutes ago, Coach Nowlin said:

Ok:  

How bout your best memories of small school football??   :06_v:

Just Jokes Pal.  

GOOD STUFF AS ALWAYS!!!   

If you insist. There was the 2003 Regional, Garrett @ Rensselaer ...

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1 hour ago, bobref said:

If you insist. There was the 2003 Regional, Garrett @ Rensselaer ...

There it is!!!   haha   :06_v:

 

One of my favorite Bobref on the the field moments is when he decides to where his creepy RED colored Contact lens like 6 years ago.   That one got me good. 

 

I will also say THANK YOU Bobref as he took the time to write to the IHSAA about what poor field and equipment issues were at Gary Wirt, 1st round playoffs, 09 I believe we drew Bowman Academy, who does not have a field, still to this day.   BobRef and his crew doing their pre game field walk through.  So many issues.  Wirt did not have an actual football team, school was still open they were having a Halloween dance outside our locker room, we got dressed and took everything to the sidelines.   At the time I was on the field not up in the box and midway through the game, one of the chains snap in the wind. No biggie, other than it was an old chain set and those things have a metal eyelet.  Wouldn't you know it, me just doing my job and in the box that I was allowed to be in at the time just walking and talking then BOOM, I get it right under my eye.  The eyelet caught in the wind and came up and snapped me just below my bottom eyelid, it was like taking it from a wet end of the locker room towel snap from the 80s.   Down I went......in a heap.   I was about 2 cm away from doing some serious eye damage.  

That and many other issues were on displayed that night.  Bob didn't have to right a letter to the state, but chose to because that was the right thing to do and appreciated him for that as many other things I have said over the years about our Resident GID Official.  

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1 hour ago, Coach Nowlin said:

There it is!!!   haha   :06_v:

 

One of my favorite Bobref on the the field moments is when he decides to where his creepy RED colored Contact lens like 6 years ago.   That one got me good. 

 

I will also say THANK YOU Bobref as he took the time to write to the IHSAA about what poor field and equipment issues were at Gary Wirt, 1st round playoffs, 09 I believe we drew Bowman Academy, who does not have a field, still to this day.   BobRef and his crew doing their pre game field walk through.  So many issues.  Wirt did not have an actual football team, school was still open they were having a Halloween dance outside our locker room, we got dressed and took everything to the sidelines.   At the time I was on the field not up in the box and midway through the game, one of the chains snap in the wind. No biggie, other than it was an old chain set and those things have a metal eyelet.  Wouldn't you know it, me just doing my job and in the box that I was allowed to be in at the time just walking and talking then BOOM, I get it right under my eye.  The eyelet caught in the wind and came up and snapped me just below my bottom eyelid, it was like taking it from a wet end of the locker room towel snap from the 80s.   Down I went......in a heap.   I was about 2 cm away from doing some serious eye damage.  

That and many other issues were on displayed that night.  Bob didn't have to right a letter to the state, but chose to because that was the right thing to do and appreciated him for that as many other things I have said over the years about our Resident GID Official.  

 

2 hours ago, bobref said:

If you insist. There was the 2003 Regional, Garrett @ Rensselaer ...

oh the 03 season....what couldve been :)

darn you renssy....darn you.  :)

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1 hour ago, Coach Nowlin said:

There it is!!!   haha   :06_v:

 

One of my favorite Bobref on the the field moments is when he decides to where his creepy RED colored Contact lens like 6 years ago.   That one got me good. 

 

I will also say THANK YOU Bobref as he took the time to write to the IHSAA about what poor field and equipment issues were at Gary Wirt, 1st round playoffs, 09 I believe we drew Bowman Academy, who does not have a field, still to this day.   BobRef and his crew doing their pre game field walk through.  So many issues.  Wirt did not have an actual football team, school was still open they were having a Halloween dance outside our locker room, we got dressed and took everything to the sidelines.   At the time I was on the field not up in the box and midway through the game, one of the chains snap in the wind. No biggie, other than it was an old chain set and those things have a metal eyelet.  Wouldn't you know it, me just doing my job and in the box that I was allowed to be in at the time just walking and talking then BOOM, I get it right under my eye.  The eyelet caught in the wind and came up and snapped me just below my bottom eyelid, it was like taking it from a wet end of the locker room towel snap from the 80s.   Down I went......in a heap.   I was about 2 cm away from doing some serious eye damage.  

That and many other issues were on displayed that night.  Bob didn't have to right a letter to the state, but chose to because that was the right thing to do and appreciated him for that as many other things I have said over the years about our Resident GID Official.  

We dressed in the band room that night, pushing aside the instruments. A few students walked in while we were dressing. I'm confident some of them are still in psychotherapy many years later as a result. :10_v:

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Congratulations, bobref!  Can't play the game without guys like you.

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Well, the day I’ve known was coming, but dreaded, is here. Tonight the curtain comes down on my on-field officiating career. I’ll take time later to wax philosophic. For now, just wish me luck. I’d hate to go out having kicked a big call. :07_v:Good luck to everyone tonight, and especially to the third team on the field. Play well and stay safe.

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This time of year, Friday nights without high school football always leaves you with an empty feeling.  I know as a fan it always does for me.  I can't imagine what it must be like to be on the field during those games and monitoring the fairness of play by both teams.  I am sure you have had your share of seeing special moments and/or games by many young men over the years.  I am sure you have had your share of special games, by special teams over the years.  And I am sure you have met special people over the years as well, be they players, coaches or fans.  From what I know of you on this website, I am also sure you will find a way to fill the "void" you will have after tonight's final whistle.  Besides the usual sentiments of, "good luck and good health", I can only add - it's too bad you never got to do a game at Linton.  :02_v: See you around the GID!

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I want to thank the GID community for the outpouring of congratulations and good wishes I received in the past week. And I wanted to tell you about the greatest night any official ever had - my last game.

The day started pretty well, with a personal letter from Commissioner Cox congratulating and thanking me, and also inviting me to “use my expertise to assist the IHSAA, going forward.” I’m going to find a way to take him up on that. Then it was time to get going to my game.

The crew showed up at Penn last night to work the sectional final vs. Warsaw. As any official can tell you, Penn is a great place to work. They could put on a clinic for other schools on how to treat Officials well. When we got out on the field, the first person we saw was coach Yeoman. For those that don’t know him, this is not only a great coach, but a first class human being. With a sectional championship on the line, all he could talk about was how happy the people at Penn were to be a part of my last game. I should have expected something like that from such a class organization.

The game proceeded uneventfully through the first half. As I was coming off the field at halftime, I heard my name being called and there was my beautiful wife. She had gotten off work early from her job in Chicago and driven 100 mi. to Granger with two of my oldest and dearest friends to see my last game. I was completely surprised. It got pretty emotional then.

At the end of the 3rd quarter I jogged down to the other end of the field where we would start the 4th period and waited for the referee and umpire to spot the ball, when I realized everyone in the place was standing and looking at me. The PA announcer called my name and began explaining to the crowd that it was my last game after 40 seasons. He started running down a list of my accomplishments, honors, awards, etc. It was very nice, but sort of embarrassing because it seemed to go on and on. My crew chief had cooked this up with the Penn Athletic Department during the week, unbeknownst to me. And then, the most magical thing happened! All 22 of the players on the field came over to the sideline, shook my hand, congratulated me on a great career, and THANKED me for my contributions to high school football. THEY THANKED ME! It should have been me thanking them, and all the other coaches and players over the years who have granted me the privilege and honor of allowing me to be a small part of their high school football experience. I thought I’d seen everything that could possibly happen on a football field. But I never saw anything like that. And it was happening to me! The fans in the stands behind me would not stop clapping and cheering FOR ME! An official! So, I finally turned around, acknowledged them and tipped my cap.

i have to admit, I remember very little of the rest of the 4th period, until there was about a minute left. As I watched the last 60 seconds of my career tick off the clock, Coach Yeoman walked over and put his arm around my shoulders and thanked me. I was, literally, speechless. My wife met me as I walked off the field, and we walked away into the night... as it should be. And now, it’s on to the next chapter, whatever that is.

All in all, a fabulous send off that exceeded anything even my imagination could have dreamed up. Now, it’s on to whatever’s next.

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Wouldnt expect anything less from coach Yeoman Penn and also your crew chief 

 

congrats pal.   Well deserved 

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