Referees are the police of the sports world. And when you’re on the junior high level they can be as corrupt and unfair as some of them are too. I’m very proud to say I coach the 6th and 8th grade boy’s basketball teams at Lusher Charter school. My 6th grade boys are at a severe disadvantage. This being a transition year for Lusher from middle to middle/high school,our facilities are not really up to par. So all our middle school teams practice at the same time and same place. Four teams sharing one gym. The girls get half and the boys get half. So basically what happens is my sixth grade boys have to play on the side goals. But they’re a bunch of fighters, all of ‘em and they just want to play so they make do and they never fuss about it. Then when we get in a game they’re not always as well prepared as our girl’s teams or our 8th grade boys, and for that matter the other team. But they give me 100% every time. This game today against Kehoe France was no different. Now let me preface this by saying their boys were playing very well. There were a few questionable calls but it wasn’t like the refs were shooting for the kids. They were definitely giving 100% and playing well to boot. So anyway with about a minute and 30 seconds left and us with the ball, down by 4 points my man drives into the lane and gets tripped. The stupid ass ref calls a travel. Mind you, he has already called several phantom fouls on our big man and our best player Ricky. But we get no slack. So anyway, I’ve already instructed my players we’re not always going to get a fair break, but to just play through it and let the coaches handle stuff like that. You see Lusher is a great school, always has been. We have the privileges and funding of a private school but we’re a public school. We’re pretty evenly integrated with black and white students from various backgrounds, but all with the commonality of Lusher Pride because we know we’re special. So a lot of other schools don’t like that. We play a lot of schools in Metarie where they already have a problem with any team fielding a majority black team. Then on top of that we’re still without a gym we can play home games in. So every game we play is on the road, where these other schools have the same refs they use for every game. The Refs who know already that they’ll be called in to officiate every game, and therefore being the preference of these schools, make the schools a preference of theirs. There’s no guaranteed money in reffing. So when you get in good with one of these schools then why not give em the benefit of the doubt. And I promise you on one particular possession they gave a warning to my bench because my 8th graders were cheering too loud, and I’ll be damned if the Athletic Director for the other school. didn’t say to the ref in a very “I’m the boss” kind of way to give us a tech. Not a suggestive “give him a tech” but a “I’ll be calling another ref if not give him a tech.” But that’s the price you pay to be at the best school. So I tell my players not to even worry about it, and they don’t. So after he calls this terrible call on my man I’m gonna fight for my guy. I tell the ref he tripped my man. After the game the other ref would tell me I stepped out of the coaches box. Video evidence reveals that the only thing on me that left that box was my right leg as I was demonstrating how the other kid tripped my player. The ref calls a tech on me and says “I’m officiating this game.” So I’m standing there looking at him like he’s out of his mind. He’s giving me a technical foul for arguing with his terrible call with 90 seconds left in a four point game. But as if that isn’t bad enough the other coach, who also happens to be named Gian, says “That’s ridiculous” nothing more, nothing less. And he gives Gian a tech. Then you can start to hear what he’s saying and he says to Gian that he’ll “throw one of us out if we get another tech, so SHUTUP.” To which Gian replies to him very simply “Don’t tell me shutup” The ref tells him something to the effect of he better shutup or else and he tells the ref again “Don’t tell me shutup,” nothing more nothing less. And this Crazy Sonofabitch gives him another tech and throws him out. 3 techs in 1 minute over a bad call he shouldn’t have made, and even worse a technical foul he should have never given. He apologized after the game for giving me a tech so quick, but that of course does nothing for the game we just lost that quickly went from a 4 point game to a 9 point game, with 90 seconds remaining, after they knocked down 5 of 6 free throws. My guys fight hard and play the best basketball they can for some bullshit ref to come in and take over the game so he can get invited back. Gimmie a break. But that’s ok. We got our revenge like we always do. Because every time they try to screw my 6th graders over, my 8th grade horses come out and run their 8th grade into the ground. Usually we’ll tell em not to shoot for the second half of the fourth quarter so as not to embarrass the other team we’re already beating by 20. Not this time. We pressed til the clock read 0. And next year they’re gonna have to deal with my angry 6th graders coming back as 7th graders seeking their own revenge. Anyway if you don’t believe me about how crazy this ref is, luckily I tape all our games so I have video evidence of this man’s irrational tech distribution.


One response to “Zebras

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