What the refs say:John Peek

High school football referee John Peek.

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

A: Interacting with coaches, players and fellow officials. As the former state president of S.C. Football Officials Association, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of the coaches, got to know them. As far as ball players are concerned, you see which ones are special. Some go on to college and the NFL. You can spot off the bat who’s really good.

Q: What’s the worst part of your job?

A: Whenever you have to disqualify a player — or when a player chooses to disqualify himself, let’s put it that way. We try to avoid that.

Q: What’s the best thing that ever happened to you on the field?

A: I had the opportunity in 2006 to work the first game covered by ESPN, a nationally televised contest between Byrnes (High School) and a school out of Florida. I was really proud about being selected to work. It was a huge opportunity I really enjoyed. I’ll never forget it.

Q: What’s the worst thing that happened?

A: It was a game between Burke and Summerville at Stoney Field on a wet and muddy night. There was a busted play up the middle, and I ended up in the play, at the bottom of the pile, in the mud. The wide receiver for Burke at the time said, “Nice play, ref.”

Q: Describe your relationship with parents and spectators.

A: We have a positive relationship with most of the parents and spectators. They’re going to be vocal, but they appreciate when we go out there and do our job. I’m a football fan as well, I understand.

Q: Describe your relationship with players.

A: We have a good relationship with the players. They respect what we’re trying to do. Kids involved in athletics are usually your future leaders. We’re not out there to coach them; we try to use different things that happen on the field as a teaching moment. I really enjoy the preseason because that’s an opportunity when we really can serve as a teacher.