Recognizing a special gesture

On Oct 3, I was involved with officiating a high school soccer match between Alexander High School and Warren High School girls soccer teams. The match was hosted by Alexander High School (Athens County, Ohio).

Prior to the game, my officiating crew was informed the match was dedicated to the memory of Marissa Miller, the middle school student who recently passed away during a soccer-related activity. The Alexander team (players and coaches) had read about the tragedy and decided to dedicate their game and aid in a fundraising event at the game. They thought it was the right thing to do, considering their and her involvement with soccer.

The Alexander team invited Marissa’s Club Ohio team to the game and asked them to participate in both pre-game, during-game and halftime activities. I think the most special part of the event was when the Club Ohio team was announced, both Alexander and Warren girls team held hands to create a canopy so the Club Ohio team could run under them and be part of the event.

To me, as an official, and our association that is dedicated in promoting outstanding sportsmanship, this was a very special gesture and one that should be recognized. Thus, I think both teams and coaches should be recognized.

Chris O’Bara