Football coaches have been heard to say, “I could do a better job than that official.”
The coaches from Middle Tennessee Christian and Pickett County got an opportunity to find out first-hand Friday night.
Thanks to a change of venue and mix-up in scheduling, no TSSAA officials showed up for the contest.
However, coaches from both teams stepped in to volunteer to officiate the game.
“It was supposed to be a home game for Pickett County, and we asked if we could buy them out and have the game here,” MTCS athletics director Jason Piercey said. “We called to get a change of venue for the officials and they said OK.
“At 6:30 no one had showed up, so we knew something was wrong. We called (the officials association) and they said there was a mix-up and the game was deleted in the system. There were no officials assigned.”
Ken Melton, who assigns games for the North Central Association, quickly scrambled to try to help find officials who weren’t already at games. Gallatin’s Fred McCollum, who was the closest to Murfreesboro, arrived to help officiate just before halftime.
“In the meantime we called Matthew Gillespie at TSSAA,” Piercey said. “He and Gene Menees said basically it was deemed an emergency situation and if both coaches agreed on who we choose to officiate, then it would be a legal game. We wanted to make sure of that. We didn’t want (Pickett County) to have to go all the way back to Byrdstown and have to come back another day.”
Gillespie confirmed to The Tennessean the contest was deemed a legal game.
MTCS won the game, which had a delay at the start, 40-8.