Angell remembers emotional game

Published 8:55 pm Friday, October 15, 2010

Kevin Angell, Bainbridge native and crew chief with the All-Star Football Officials Association of Albany, talked Wednesday to the Bainbridge Lions Club about the most memorable and emotional game he ever officiated.

“It occurred on Sept. 14, 2001, just three days after the terrible 911 attacks on our country,” Angell said recalling the game.

“Most public and private high school games were called off that week, but my crew had the only one in our association’s coverage area. It was at Terrell Academy in Dawson,” Angell said.

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When they arrived at the stadium, Terrell County officials came up and asked them to go along with a special event they had planned.

“When we walked onto the field, fans were completely silent in memory of the many brave Americans who lost their lives that terrible day,” Angell said.

“When we walked out to the middle of the field for the opening coin toss, the captains of both teams gave each other big hugs.

When the game started, the first penalty they called was for offensive holding. The offended player came up and hugged the offender and told him everything would be all right,” Angell said.

Angell, a 1982 graduate of Bainbridge High School where he was a receiver on the Bearcats football team and a center fielder and second baseman on the Bearcats baseball team, also talked about his desire to some day get into college football officiating.

“I have been accepted to attend both the Gulf South Conference and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference clinics this year,” he said. “The date and time of those clinics has not yet been set.”

“One new rule in the high school game this year that I really like is the buffer zone on the two sidelines.

“There is a two-yard buffer zone between the sidelines and the field, and only three coaches can be in it before the ball is snapped. When the ball is snapped, all coaches must be behind the buffer zone. That rule is for the safety of the officials, the coaches and the players.”