Most high school students who enjoy soccer are suiting up for their respective schools. Rogers senior Chase Woolley has decided on an alternative route.
Woolley, who last played competitive soccer in eighth grade, became enamored with refereeing when he began to work during youth soccer games six years ago. He has refereed high school varsity games for the past two years.
Woolley was selected to referee the Class 1B/2B boys state championship game between Bear Creek and Grace Academy on Nov. 23 at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner. He admitted it was the biggest game he’s ever worked.
“I was extremely nervous going into that game,” Woolley said. “I settled down after making my first call. Once I made that call, I realized it was just another game of reffing.”
Woolley, 18, said he was chosen because of his performance during the fall season.
“I was given an assessment in June of 2013 and was told I needed to get in better shape,” he said. “So I started reffing as many youth games and high school games as I could, and I started getting noticed by the assigners critiquing the games. The people in charge sent in a recommendation for me for the state championship game.”
Woolley said he isn’t intimidated by coaches or players when they dispute his calls.
“You learn to tune most of it out,” he said. “It usually goes in one ear and out the other. My main goal right now is to someday become a (Major League Soccer) referee. This January, I’m sending in an application so I can start doing college games. After that, I just want to keep working my way up.”