Frisco, Texas (Sept. 22, 2016) – 2016 North Texas Soccer Young Female Referee of the Year Renee Wilson began playing soccer at the age of four years old, and by the time she was in high school, it became clear she wanted to contribute to the positive experiences of others beginning their soccer journey.
“Growing up the game was so exciting to learn,” Wilson said. “When I started refereeing younger kids, I had the opportunity to teach them the laws of the game. Teaching kids the game was what made me so excited about refereeing. “
For Wilson, the background of playing soccer and her desire to teach kids the game made officiating an easy choice.
“I started refereeing in 2014, and it came naturally since I already knew the game from playing,” Wilson said. “It sure beat going out and getting a different job.”
Wilson’s playing experience includes playing recreationally in her younger years in Carrollton Farmers Branch before moving to the club side, where she played for the Dallas Texans, Texas Spirit and FC Dallas. Wilson also played for Hebron High School. Even though her club and high school days have passed, Wilson continues to play intramural soccer while attending Texas Women’s University.
“Becoming a referee gave me a lot of respect for other referees that were officiating my games knowing that no one is perfect,” Wilson said. “It also helped me with my attitude towards putting up with parents who are yelling at me. I learned to communicate with them in a way that wasn’t rude.”
Wilson has also become a role model for younger referees. In addition to officiating events such as the Carrollton Farmers Branch Soccer Association Spring Bash and the North Texas Soccer Tournament of Champions, she has volunteered as a field monitor to check on other officials. When it comes to specific advice, Wilson reminds referees to simply have fun.
“Even though it is a lot of work and you are outside for the majority of the day, you need to have fun,” Wilson said. “Yes you are there to work, but it is a game you love, and if you love teaching soccer then refereeing is for you.”
Despite becoming a mentor for younger referees, Wilson says she was still surprised when her name was called as the Young Female Referee of the Year.
“I was definitely shocked,” Wilson said. “I knew I was nominated and all, but it was still surprising to have my name called. It is definitely something I will remember for a while.”
Wilson was quick to thank everyone from Carrollton Farmers Branch who was involved in the nomination process. Wilson also had a message from the perspective of a referee when it comes to the behavior of coaches and parents.
“Referees do have feelings and yelling at us can sometimes get under our skin even if we don’t show it,” Wilson said. “No one is perfect, and if I make a wrong call I will admit to it and continue with the game. We are humans just like you, and we have feelings.”
For a story on the North Texas Soccer Young Male Referee of the Year, Hans Soland, can be found here