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Tonopah referees play role in state tourneys

Robert Otteson is the commissioner of officials for Central Nevada, a newly formed association. He is also a volleyball official. He said during the November month of playoffs some Tonopah officials had the honor of officiating the high stake games.

“We had two local officials who officiated the state championship games in football. Only 25 officials are chosen to officiate these games out of over 800 football officials in the state. Terry Rice was a Line Judge in the Division 4 championship game. And Rick Melton was the Head Referee (White Hat) in the Division 3 championship game in Reno,” he said.

Melton has been a referee for over 20 years and has refereed three state championship games. Rice has been an official for 15 years and this was his first state game.

Ottesson said after a lot of politics Central Nevada formed the new association of officials last year. The association met with a lot of resistance because other officials from other associations did not want to give up officiating in Central Nevada.

One interesting aspect of being an official at the high school level is an official can do more than one sport.

“You are not limited to the amount of sports you can officiate for. Many of the officials do two or three sports,” Otteson said.

Tonopah also had Jay McLauchlin who did the football semi-final in Las Vegas the week before.

Four volleyball officials did the Division 4 playoffs at Beatty against Lund. Jeff Galli, Dakota Day, Dan Eason and Robert Otteson.

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association is always looking for good officials. According to the NIAA it has approximately 1500 registered high school officials throughout the state.

There are currently 11 approved and sanctioned officials’ associations. The association is always looking for good officials.

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