More area youth stepping up to serve as referees

Published 11:00 am Sunday, February 25, 2024

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A new generation of referees is taking to the ice recently as a way to get more time doing a sport they enjoy — while also making a little money.

Eighth-grade Albert Lea High School student Nate Herr, 13, applied to be a referee in August, then studied for and passed his test to do the job. He is in his first year in the position.

Nate said he has always liked hockey and started playing when he was probably about 4 years old after watching his sister figure skate.

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“I took him to his first Wild game, and he was hooked,” said his mother, Brenda Herr.

Nate said he hopes to play for the Albert Lea High School team and continue to referee around his games.

Right now, he officiates whenever he gets offered the opportunity and doesn’t already have other plans — most of the time on the weekends. Some times, he referees two games in one day, and other times he does four. So far, all of the games have been at Albert Lea City Arena.

“It’s fun,” he said. “I know most of the people, too.”

At his age, he can referee for any age group under 13 — mites, squirts or peewees. His referee pool expands as he gets older.

When he’s not playing or officiating hockey, Nate said he enjoys hanging out with his friends and playing his Xbox. He also plays baseball and golf.