Students double as referees for Port Washington Soccer Club

Seth Barshay, Sports Editor

In nearly every sport, athletes usually feel contempt towards the referees, as sometimes their impartial regulation of games gets in the way of the interests of the  team.

However, it is of note that these referees are usually athletes themselves.  This includes the referees of the Port Washington Soccer Club; these students are also athletes at Schreiber.

The high school student-athletes regulate the games for elementary school students.

“It definitely took some getting used to.  It was weird being the one getting yelled at for a call rather than the one yelling at the call that is made by the ref.  It has made me realize that the refs are doing the best they can in interpreting the games and making fair calls,” said junior Milan Sani, who also plays for the girls varsity soccer team.

The games are usually officiated by Vikings athletes on weekends, when the scrimmages for the Port Washington Soccer Club are played.

According to the student referees, it gives them a different perspective of the game, which helps with their own playing on the field.

“It’s fun to get to be in charge as opposed to being controlled while playing,” said junior John Gallagher.  “Because I play the same sport as I ref, I gained a better understanding for the game which in turn made me play differently when I was playing my own game.  I also definitely have less negative thoughts of refs when I play.”

Being able to interact with the older players may also motivate the younger players to continue playing soccer until high school.

“I think that us students refereeing definitely helps the kids get motivated to stick with soccer.  For me, when I was on the eighth grade team at Weber, being able to practice with the varsity team inspired me to continue.  Seeing the older players gives you a taste of what coming up is like, so I think things like this definitely helped me decide to continue with soccer,” said Sani.

For many current Schreiber students, games for both soccer and other sports, such as PYA basketball, were officiated by then-students.

This exposure to the varsity athletes at such a young age seems to have had a lasting impact on these now-varsity athletes over the years.

“I think that seeing these guys was a confidence booster to see what I could potentially become in the future,” said boys varsity basketball player and junior Zach Jimenez.