It's always bothered me how referees get a bad rap. Sometimes even before they step on the field.
That's why it does my heart good to hear about Jim Kritzberg, a dedicated soccer referee and President of the Tri-Cities Soccer Referee chapter of eastern Washington. The 62-year-old IT manager at Bechtel has been a player, coach, mentor, assessor and official since he took up the sport relatively late at age 27.
He's also a cancer survivor, having battled through lung cancer last year.
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Late in 2009, thirty-five years after taking up the sport, Kritzberg was honored by the United States Adult Soccer Association as its Region IV Referee Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. And this year, in May, the United States Soccer Federation named him the Region IV referee of the year.
Way to go, Jim. Keep up the good work!