Area refs named state’s Officials of Year in soccer, volleyball, football

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) is recognizing the top officials for not only their on-field/court performance, but local association activity and leadership, training efforts and the mentoring of newer officials.

Every year, one official in each of the 10 sports the KHSAA licenses officials is named “Outstanding Official of the Year” in appreciation of their dedication and service to schools and student-athletes across the state. According to the organization, winners are chosen based on consultation with local assigning secretaries, veteran officials’ observers, coaches throughout the state and additional staff review.

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The Outstanding Officials of the Year for the 2020 fall season include Jamie Gatewood for field hockey, Michael Samaan for soccer, Jim Nunley for volleyball and Burney Jenkins for football. Other finalists for the award were Jim Kramer for field hockey, Alec Melchor for soccer, Mark Brown for volleyball along with Tackett Wilson and Scott Moore for football.

2020-21 KHSAA Outstanding Officials (winners in bold)
FIELD HOCKEY – Jamie Gatewood (Louisville), Jim Kramer (Crestwood)
SOCCER – Michael Samaan (Nicholasville), Alec Melchor (Elizabethtown)
VOLLEYBALL – Jim Nunley (Pineville), Mark Brown (Russell)
FOOTBALL – Burney Jenkins (Georgetown), Tackett Wilson (Corbin), Scott Moore (Union)

The finalists each receive a commemorative watch and certificate courtesy of the Officials Division Trust Fund, with the Official of the Year receiving an additional recognition award.

Officiating numbers are declining nationally, so the KHSAA is always accepting applications from individuals interested in giving back to their community. The organization says officiating remains a great avenue to stay active, earn extra spending money and ensure that high school athletics are preserved for the current and future generations. To get involved as an official, visit https://khsaa.org/officials/officiating-information/.