Every month, we shine a spotlight on a dedicated sport official who goes above and beyond to contribute to the world of sports through their expertise and commitment to officiating education-based athletics. This month, we are proud to introduce you to Rick St. George, a veteran high school football official with the Metrolina Football Association. His remarkable journey in officiating spans over three decades. Rick’s passion for the game, unwavering commitment, and exemplary leadership have left an indelible mark on his association and the community.
Beyond the Whistle
Rick St. George isn’t just a football official; during the day, he is a Physical Therapist by trade and even has his own practice. Beyond his professional life, Rick is happily married to his wife, ‘Jen,’ and is known for having one of the kindest hearts of any individual you’ll ever meet. His commitment to helping others extends far beyond the sidelines, showcasing the kind of character that truly shines in our Officials Spotlight.
A Long and Distinguished Career
Rick’s journey in high school football officiating began in 1992. Over the years, he has not only officiated numerous games but has also achieved remarkable milestones within his association. His list of accomplishments includes officiating the NCHSAA Championship twice, first as a Side Judge in 1998 and then as the Referee in 2014. Rick has also officiated the NCISAA Championships three times, showcasing his consistent excellence in the field.
One of the pinnacles of his career came when he was selected to officiate the prestigious North Carolina/South Carolina Shrine Bowl in 2004, a testament to his dedication and expertise in the world of high school football officiating.
A True Leader and Mentor
What truly sets Rick apart is his leadership both on and off the field. As described by his regional supervisor, Rodney Burnette, Rick is a true leader among his association. He leads by example, maintaining high standards and never letting any official compromise their integrity. Rick’s dedication to training new officials is remarkable. He willingly volunteers to help develop and mentor new recruits, instilling in them the same values and leadership traits that he exemplifies – doing the right thing.
Rick’s impact on his association extends to the schools he serves. He is consistently the most requested referee for marquee games, a testament to the respect and trust that coaches and schools place in his abilities.
One of Rodney Burnette’s favorite memories of Rick illustrates his ability to defuse tense situations. In a hostile environment where teams exhibited poor sportsmanship during our game, Rick calmly tell his colleagues, “Officiate the next play; I will handle the sideline.” His calm and composed demeanor had a transformative effect, restoring sportsmanship and earning apologies from coaches.
Getting to Know Rick St. George
- Introduction to Officiating: Rick’s journey into officiating was sparked by a chance encounter. After a hiatus from the game, a conversation with a college official’s wife led to him attending a game. Witnessing the action on the field reignited his passion for the sport, leading him to embark on a 30-year career in football officiating.
- Favorite Part of Officiating: For Rick, the camaraderie within the officiating family and the opportunity to work with student athletes stand out as the most rewarding aspects of his officiating career.
- Challenges in Officiating: Balancing the demands of officiating with work and personal life is a common challenge for many officials, including Rick. However, his dedication and passion have allowed him to navigate these challenges successfully.
- Advice for New Officials: Rick emphasizes the importance of listening and learning from veteran officials. He encourages newcomers to understand that regardless of the level they are officiating, the players have put in significant effort to be there, just like the officials.
- Future Goals: Looking ahead, Rick’s goals are centered around sharing his knowledge and experience with future officials, with the aim of improving the quality of the game and nurturing the next generation of sports officials.
In closing, Rick St. George’s dedication to high school football officiating and education-based athletics is not just about calling; it’s about enriching the sport, instilling values, and setting a shining example for others. His commitment, leadership, and impact on the game makes him a true shining star in stripes, and we are honored to recognize him in our Officials Spotlight for the month of August. Congratulations, Rick, on your remarkable journey and contributions to education-based athletics!