It was a "golden goal" situation: After 90 minutes of scoreless play, Hempstead ended the game with a goal 52 seconds into the final overtime period.
It an even, hard-played match on a gorgeous afternoon in Dubuque. It sounds cliche, I know, but it was "picture perfect" -- not only the weather but the spirit and intensity of the game.
Thus concludes my 10th season of officiating high school soccer in Iowa. (It would have been 11, but I took last season off so that I could watch my son play his final year of prep soccer.)
In discussing conditioning and the physical requirements of refereeing soccer, a sage official once observed, "I get a year older each season, but the players stay the same age."
My renewal forms to remain a certified official for the 2007 season are due in little more than a week. And I'll be a year older ...
(Photo (c) 2006, Telegraph Herald. Reprinted with permission.)