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Sherron, Lewis ‘white hat’ state title games

                                           Thomas Sherron and Larry Lewis


by DANNY WADE | Senior Editor

For possibly the first time ever, two Humboldt men who are football officials were the “white hat” officials of two state championship games this year. Thomas Sherron and Larry Lewis both were crew chiefs/referees (white hats) in TSSAA Championship BlueCross Bowl games in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The white hat referee serves as the crew chief and leader of the officiating crew. The white hat positions him or herself behind the quarterback on the football field. They oversee everything related to the officials and the game. The white hat official has the final decision when a flag is thrown and makes the call on the field to the teams and audience.

Sherron refereed the Division II Class 3A game between McCallie vs Baylor last Thursday night. McCallie edged out Baylor, 34-28 for the state championship.

Lewis refereed the Division II Class 1A game between Middle Tennessee Christian from Murfreesboro, Tenn. vs Friendship Christian out of Lebanon, Tenn. MTCS won the game 28-13.

Lewis began his career as an official in 1987 as a middle school basketball referee. He then moved to softball and football. Over the years, Lewis has officiated middle and high school basketball; middle and high school, and college softball; and middle and high school, and semi-pro football. Lewis said his first taste of state tournament officiating was in 2005 as the time keeper in football and also worked a state championship game in softball.

Sherron said he got his start as a football official in 2009 as an ECO (electric clock operator). By 2011, he had worked his way up to the line judge official. For the past 23 years, Sherron has been a referee with the last 100 games as a white hat, the highest position on the field.

“I have enjoyed working high school football with my son every Friday night for almost 20 years,” Lewis said of some of his favorite memories. “He was a member of the chain crew at the state championship this year.”

“One of my favorite memories was working in the semifinals the day after Thanksgiving,” Sherron said.

Humboldt has had sports referees or umpires officiating area and regional games currently and in the past. But to have two work TSSAA state championship games on the same day is a feat in itself. For Sherron and Lewis, this is the pinnacle of their officiating careers. Who knows, maybe there are bigger and better things in store for these Humboldt natives as they continue their careers on the gridiron, the diamond or the court.

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