Blake Blunkall

In 2012 a friend of mine who I had coached with asked me if I'd ever thought about being a soccer referee. I replied "nope," but he asked if I'd go to the new referee clinic with him and for some reason I said yes. That was the beginning of a passion for refereeing that has continued to grow since that day.

 
I got my grade 8 badge in Ohio South in 2013 and began refereeing youth matches in some of our local leagues. I went to Ohio south's intermediate academy that year and got my grade 7 badge in 2014. In 2016, I attained my State Badge after completing the advanced academy and meeting the requirements for matches and assessments. I was honored to be invited to be a part of Ohio South's Pro Academy and train with guys like current MLS referee Chico Grajeda and former MLS Assistant Referee Mike Salyers. This training and mentoring has been the most invaluable part of my experience in refereeing.   
 
We moved here from Ohio in August of 2017. I had been in contact with Greg Hauck via e-mail about working amateur matches for RSRA before we arrived. We arrived on a Saturday evening and on Sunday morning I met Greg at Patriot Park and officiated my first match. That was the beginning of my involvement with RSRA as a member. It's been an amazing experience for me and the organization has been incredible for me personally and now it's time for me to give back.
 
As a board member at large I'd love to be an ear for our members when they have questions or issues, be an encourager for those referees who are wanting to elevate their game and a mentor for younger referees that are wanting to advance in their knowledge and in their on field performance. I'd love to help each of our members see a path for them that increases their knowledge and experience about the game, increases their skills as a referee and leads to a posture of wanting to take that knowledge and experience and give it to those younger referees who are coming up behind us.