Monday afternoon I was scheduled to referee the first game of the Interscholastic Football League against Marianas High School and Saipan Southern High School. Unfortunately MHS didn't have enough players to field a team so they lost in a forfeit. Fortunately, however, we went ahead and played a game anyway with their coach, a few of the SSHS players, and me suiting up for MHS.
The thing that always amazes me about these young players is how surprisingly fast they are. 15 years and 50 lbs ago I was probably just like them, but now I'm forced to rely on good positioning and foot skill to compete with these guys (weighing 80 more lbs than some of the players has its advantages at times, too).
There was one particular play during Monday's game where I was dribbling the ball into a corner and being chased down by one of the SSHS players (one of my relatives, in fact) when the other player tripped and fell (I swear I didn't touch him!). In the Adult League that would have been it and I would have been home free. Not with these guys. He was back on his feet and on my tail before I took maybe even three steps.
It was great to be able to get away from the campaign trail for an hour and just so you know, I plan on continuing to referee soccer games should I become the next Mayor of Saipan.