Ed Wood, president of the Rochester Chapter of Certified Football Officials, announced that the group is actively seeking new members for the upcoming football season.
The RCCFO officiates high school football games in three local leagues: Monroe County, RCAC & Livingston/Genesee.
“The past 10 years has seen a steady decline in the number of officials that are available to work high school football games in our area,” Wood said. “The same can be said of most other sports, both here and across the country.”
New football officials are put through a comprehensive training program, which teaches the rules and mechanics of the game. The first meeting for this upcoming season will be held at 6:30 p.m. July 24 at Brighton High School, 1150 Winton Road. Anyone interested in becoming a football official is encouraged to attend.
New officials learn the ropes by officiating youth, freshman and junior varsity football games for the first two years, and traditionally begin to work high school varsity games in their third year. After gaining experience, officials may have the opportunity to advance their careers.
“We’ve had many members of the RCCFO that have gone on to officiate Division I college games for the Big Ten, Big East, ACC and SEC,” Wood said. “Two of our former members made it all the way to the National Football League.”
One of those former high school officials is Bill Schuster from Livonia, who officiated in Super Bowl XLIX. When contacted for this story, Schuster said that deciding to become a high school football official with the RCCFO was one of the best choices he could have made.
“I coached for a couple of years, but there’s nothing like being on the field with the players,” Schuster said. “Your fellow officials are your team now, and your goal is to ensure that the game is played fairly. There’s a lot of satisfaction in doing the job right, and the friendships that you make along the way last a lifetime.”
For those that are interested in finding out more, visit rccfo.com.