It's a tough job, but it's one of the most important roles during Friday night lights. No, we're not talking about the coach or the groundskeepers, it's the sometimes hated but crucial referee.

Right now, there is a shortage of folks willing to don the black and white stripes. While there are around 120 refs for the panhandle, that will not be enough to cover every Friday night game.

KAMR-TV Local 4's Blessing Woksman interviewed 30-year veteran Wayne Bernier who said that every year 8-15 refs retire while only about 5 rookies stick around. While there are many reasons referees leave the program, lack of support can be the biggest factor.

Let's face it, the ref isn't always the most popular person on the field. Referees rely on the support of coaches and parents to help them shape a great program for our youth.

If you think you have what it takes to be a ref, now more than ever, your help is needed. The Texas Association of Sports Officials has a form you can submit to start the process by clicking here.

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