I’ve never officiated tackle football at any level, but after watchng high school football for more than 40 years, I think I’ve acquired an understaqnding of the rules. I’ve seen things this year that leave me shaking my head.
• The lack of whistles to end a play.
I’m walking the sidelines, and sometimes I don’t hear one until the play has been over for five seconds. Shouldn’t the whistle blow as soon as forward progress has been stopped? On more than one occasion this season, I’ve seen slow whistles which gives either team an opportunity to deliver a cheap or unwarranted hit. If we’re concerned about safety, blow the whistle....somebody. There was a play Thursday where Luke Myers got drilled several yards away from the play all because either the whistle hadn’t been blown yet or an official isn’t watching his area of the field. In either case, the play should have been flagged.
• I’ve seen more sketchy head-to-head hits this year.
Carson’s Abel Carter took at least one shot that wasn’t called Thursday night in the 31-17 loss to Douglas. I’d rather see officials err on the side of caution, and I wish high school kids would learn to tackle the correct way. I also wish runners would quit using their helmet as a battering ram. Flag the guilty party. Throw enough flags and maybe, just maybe, the kids will get a clue.
• Simple addition.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen officials step off yardage incorrectly. One that instantly comes to mind happened last Thursday. Douglas was called for roughing the kicker which is a 15-yard penalty or half the distance to the goal in some cases. On Carson’s first field goal attempt the ball was on the 16. When Carson accepted the penalty, the ball should have been placed on the 8, but was instead put on the 11. When I questioned the referee about placement at halftime, he admitted that if that was the case, they screwed up. You think? Three yards may not sound like a whole lot, but it is.
• Pass interference calls.
It’s also my understanding, and again I could be mistaken, but I thought a defensive back had to turn his head around when defending a pass play. A potential TD was wiped out when the official ruled an incomplete pass in the Carson-Douglas game.
• A center is supposed to be protected on PATs and field goals in high school football.
Yet there was contact on Jake Roman in Thursday’s game, leading to a blocked field goal.
• Positioning of the umpire should be changed.
There are a lot of older guys out there, and many are in the umpire position, or behind the defense. They simply don’t move well enough to get out of the way. In the Damonte game, the umpire got in the way of Abel Carter, who fumbled in the Damonte secondary. I think high school should have the umpire behind the offense like the NFL does.
The rumor mill is always flying around high school sports.
The latest has to do with Cade McNamara, Damonte’s strong-armed quarterback. A person with close ties to high school sports in northern Nevada said he was told by a Damonte fan McNamara is moving somewhere near San Diego and will attend school there. Certainly the football is better in that area, but if you are good, colleges know who and where you are.
With the regular season over, is there any reason why Carter shouldn’t be Sierra League Player of the Year?
Carter, only a junior, had 159 carries for 1709 yards and 23 scores. He went 3-for-4 passing for 84 yards and a score, and also caught six passes for 18 yards. On defense, he had 66 tackles (unofficially), had a fumble recovery and intercepted two passes and returned both for TDs.
If I had a vote, it would be Carter POY and Damonte’s Cade McNamara Offensive Player of the Year. McNamara passed for 2,637 yards and 34 scores. For Defensive Player of the Year, I’d go with Damonte’s Richie Garcia, who had more than 100 stops and 10.5 tackles for loss.