What the refs say:Tommy Brush

High school football referee Tommy Brush

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

A: Working with kids, working with youth, being a mentor.

Q: What’s the worst part of your job?

A: There’s no worst part of officiating. The worst part of the job is that people don’t understand the difference in the rules that are played at different levels.

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

A: The best thing that can ever happen to you on the field is for nobody to know that you’re there. A better answer is to have the losing coach tell you that you did a great job. I’ve had that happen a few times.

Q: What’s the worst thing that happened?

A: I was chased off the field in Walterboro — it was 20 years ago — by the mayor. He didn’t like the calls, and after the game, he chased me all the way to the police car. I’ve also tripped over the artificial turf line — not bad, but kind of embarrassing.

Q: Describe your relationship with parents and spectators.

A: I ignore all spectators and all parents. You have to ignore them. They are entertaining, but I try very hard not to interact with them. I threw two of them out of a JV game two years ago because they were using vile language, and I had them removed from the school premises.

Q: Describe your relationship with players.

A: We interact with the players, we can identify with the players, we try to teach them sportsmanship. We try to interact with them and remind them that’s what they’re there for. We are creating a level playing field for them to play on. Not everybody’s emotionally tied up in the game. We are the five people who aren’t.