Student Officiates Championship Game at National Intramural Recreational Sports Association Tournament

KINGSVILLE - December 02, 2016

Contact: Shelby Purdy
Email: shelby.purdy@tamuk.edu
or Phone: 361-593-4532


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In his first tournament ever officiating outside of intramural sports at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, sophomore Anthony Villasana officiated a championship game at the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) University of Nebraska-Lincoln Region V Flag Football Tournament.

Over the course of two days, student officials from across the country got the opportunity to officiate flag football games which included Men's, Women's, Co-ed and Special Olympic teams. Villasana, a sophomore from La Feria, Texas has been officiating for less than a year but proved to be one of the best, earning a chance to officiate one of the three championship games

He was accompanied on the six-day trip by Tony Kreitzer, Director of Campus Recreation and Fitness at Texas A&M-Kingsville.

“The Nebraska Regional is one of the most respected tournaments within NIRSA due to its longevity and excellence of producing high quality officials to the National Flag Football Tournament. What is unique about Nebraska’s tournament, is that it is also Special Olympics Regional Flag Football Tournament, where Anthony was an official for these games as well.” Kreitzer said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

“Anthony was successful for three reasons: He is a good young official, he knew he was doing something special and wanted to represent our school and department proudly, and he works hard at his craft. The month leading up to the tournament, we would meet for about an hour every Monday to prepare,” Kreitzer added.

Villasana has been officiating flag football games for two semesters at A&M-Kingsville.

“I learned to officiate by my colleagues that work with me. I kind of knew how to by watching football but once you witness the skills that go into being an official, from the official’s eyes, it’s a whole different perspective. Thanks to a great team of intramural referees that I work with I was able to soak up their knowledge of the game,” Villasana said.

Villasana is a member of Kingsville Student Sports Officials Association. He got involved with the organization by officiating intramural sports with the Student Recreation and Fitness Department at A&M-Kingsville.

“The most rewarding part of my experience was the number of people I got to meet from different parts of the country who have a deep passion for the game and officiating. I would like to thank Mr. Kreitzer, not only for giving me the chance to show my skills and knowledge, but for being an excellent teacher and leader I can look up to, which motivates me to excel in anything I do,” he said.

In the future, Villasana plans to earn a master’s degree in physical therapy. As far as his officiating careers goes, he hopes to eventually work as an official for the NFL.

“It was just a job at first, but it has now become a passion and something to build on for my future.”