By Jeremy McDonald
MCMINNVILLE, Ore.– Some would call it a hobby, a extracurricular activities when you get older to stay in the game; some may turn it into a actual profession or what have you in being a referee.
Roaming the sidelines with a familiar whistle in hand, but wearing the neutral zebra colors was Josh Riddell. Not doing it as a hobby nor as a profession, but to use it as a balance with coaching as a extracurricular activity.
“You kind of learn from each other,” said Riddell on the opportunity to be a referee. “You learn how to coach from reffing and you learn how to ref from coaching so, it’s good. It balances each other out.”
During his four-games Saturday at Patton Middle School, Riddell saw a few familiar faces in players on the coach, some even call him ‘coach’ on the football field as he reffed two-McKay Basketball games Saturday afternoon.
And anyone who’s seen a Scots game over the past two-or-so -season knows the pace they like to push on a regular basis.
By the end of that second Scots game, his third-game of the day and another on the docket, you could tell running up and down the court was taking a toll on him like those conditioning drills were at Western Oregon University.
“Ah man all these teams are hard to keep up, my legs are getting old,” starts Riddell. “It’s fun though, it keeps me in shape and it keeps me involved with the game.”
Riddell points to once he reffed 10 games in a day and point to how heavy his legs were that day and his legs Saturday entering his fourth game wasn’t anywhere near that point.
“There’s some days where I reffed 10 games, those are the tough ones,” smiled Riddell.
As for McKay Head Coach Dean Sanderson, the man that brought this sprinters-mindset to the Scots program,
“Oh he’s a really good official, I don’t know if we have much luck with him officiating. I might give him a hard time about that. Really, we should have a home-court advantage, I’m not sure if he gets that to us,” joked Sanderson. “But he’s a good coach and a really good official.”
As for tossing someone out, which is hard to believe in general seeing Riddell giving that fame saluate to a player or coach; it hasn’t happened yet, but it did come close to that point a few times.
“Naw I’m pretty laid back dude so I don’t try to eject guys, but I’ve definitely said a few things back to some fans,” said Riddell with a grin.