An insurance agent by day, Brad Hewick is in his seventh year officiating high school football games for the Washington District Football Officials Association. He was the referee for the DCIAA Turkey Bowl last year and has been in the spotlight the past two weeks, as the referee for the Sept. 16 Seneca Valley-Northwest game and the line judge for Lackey's game at Westlake last Friday. He talks about some of the challenges an official faces.
Q: Is officiating any different when you have a top assignment?
A: You officiate the game the same, but there is an excitement about the game that gives you a thrill about being on the field. It makes you feel good. You're on the big game because your commissioner has faith in you. He's putting you out there for a reason. It's sort of a reward for your efforts.
Q: What is the hardest play for an official?
A: On the goal line, plays where a running back goes into the middle of the pile. If you're a wing official, the goal line is the most important line. And now there is a big clutter there. You pinch in after the play is over and you're not sure, and then the other team might come up with the ball.
Q: How do you deal with coaches who, perhaps, like to make their feelings well known?
A: It's an intense game and I never, ever want to take the intensity out of the game, whether it is the players or coaches. I let the coaches say what they want. It doesn't bother me. I listen to them and consider what they say. As long as they don't cross that line and get vulgar or demeaning, I let them vent. Coaches know when enough is enough.
Q: Would you like to be able to use instant replay to review your calls?
A: No, I like it the way it is.
Q: You had a friend tape the Seneca Valley-Northwest game when it was shown on local cable television. Why?
A: There was one play I wanted to see again [a kickoff return for a touchdown that Hewick nullified because of an illegal block]. It was difficult to see [on tape]. But by looking at the way the players fell, I got it right.
-- Josh Barr