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A group of football officials from Los Alamos has been around for quite awhile. It’s been around so long, in fact, that current crew chief Kerry Coffelt remembers it from his playing days.
The officiating crew has been on the hill since the early 1960s and is still going strong. It’s one of the most respected crews in northern New Mexico and recently had a chance to call the 2011 North-South small school All-Star Game, which was played in Española.
“The North-South game was an absolute honor and a privilege to do,” said Coffelt, who is the referee on the Los Alamos crew. “It’s amazing. People don’t believe it just because they’re in small schools, but almost any of them could’ve started for any 4A or 5A school.”
The crew that got to call the All-Star Game included Coffelt, umpire Greg Hanson, head lineseman Roger Anaya, field judge Larry Vaughn and back judge Rick Hinckley. The same crew, with Alan Kirby serving as head linesman, was also asked to call the Class 3A game in 2009.
Coffelt, who has worked most of the officiating positions on the crew since joining it 30 years ago, is not just a respected zebra, but is one of the top amateur baseball and softball umpires in the region. Coffelt has been asked to call Little League baseball and softball games for regionals and one year was even asked to work the softball Little League World Series in 2008.
That year, the World Series was held in Kirkland, Wash. As is usually the case when he umpires, he said, the heat index was off the chart that year.
This year, Coffelt will oversee the umpires at the Little League regionals in Midland, Texas. While he’s not looking forward to the August heat in Texas, he said it’s another great honor for him.
Prior to the 2011 football season, just a little more than two months away, Coffelt will take part in a national Web conference focusing on new rules and points of emphasis in applying them.