Portland area schools in need of many more football officials, PFOA says
MILWAUKIE Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland Football Officials Association began serving schools around here in 1947, but the roster has never been more depleted.
Rob Fuller is the head of recruiting for PFOA and has been with them for 22 seasons.
“It’s not just football, it’s all sports. It’s not just Portland, it’s not just Oregon, it’s across the country, it’s a nationwide issue,” Fuller says.
Rapid attrition to the PFOA roster during the pandemic caused high school varsity games to be played on Thursdays and Fridays in 2022, which will be the case once more this fall, plus those sub-varsity and youth officiating needs the other five days of the week for four and five person crews.
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Brent Macey is on his 36th season with PFOA.
“When you join the Portland Football Officials Association, you are immediately surrounded by 130-140 people that come from all walks of life, but they have one thing in common, that is that they really, really like high school football,” Macey says.
Just like Ashleigh Edwards, a lawyer by day, who is back in stripes for season two and in the middle of PFOA’s three-year mentorship program to officiate 5th graders to high school seniors.
“It’s fun in a challenging way and in a way where you can see everything come together and you can say, you did a good job, and you are facilitating the game play and kind of making everything work,” Edwards says.
David Kern was a new officiating recruit a year ago and returns for more with the support of the PFOA.
“Where it exceeded my expectations was, I would say, the engagement from the players,” Kern says. “I was very surprised after the game, players would seek an official out unsolicited and thank them, which was great.”
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PFOA veteran of 30 seasons Dave Robbins says you aren’t expected to know it all when you start.
“Because we don’t even after 30 years!” Robbins says. “Have a positive attitude, get rewarded and make a few bucks.”
Robbins says they’ll train new officials on how to deal with coaches and fans.
“It’s a mindset and not everyone will take to it but, we will train them, and we’ll stand by them,” he says.
Standing by to take your application, right now, at PFOA.us.
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