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San Marcos Senior Joshua Morales Named Male Youth Soccer Referee of Year

State referee administrator George Noujaim and the State Referee Committee for Cal South have selected San Marcos High School senior Joshua Morales as this year’s Male Youth Soccer Referee of the Year.

He was honored in February during Cal South’s annual banquet ceremony in Los Angeles.

Morales, 18, has been a U.S. Soccer Federation certified referee since he was 15. Through hard work, discipline and determination, he has worked his way up the ranks to a Grade 6, which is classified as a state referee. He is now officiating soccer matches at many levels, including the community college level, USA national teams, the Development Academy and has had a taste of Major League Preseason Soccer.

Morales began playing soccer with AYSO and later with Santa Barbara Soccer Club as keeper for the U13 and U14 bronze teams. He wanted to have soccer be a larger part of his life and signed up for referee certification classes; soon afterward, he began refereeing club youth and adult soccer league games. Though he was only 15 at the time, his above average height of 6-foot-1 and older appearance gave him confidence while officiating adult league games with teams consisting mostly of players in their 20s and 30s.

In the past few weeks, Morales was selected as an assistant referee at a preseason game at the Home Depot Center featuring Major League Soccer’s Chivas USA and USL professional division team, L.A. Blues. He traveled to Washington, D.C., this past weekend to officiate at the Annandale Premier Cup. Two days later he was invited to officiate at the Far West Regionals in Hawaii in June.

When asked about his recent trip to the capital, he said, “I had never officiated games in extreme cold with snow on the ground. It was fun, but a challenge,” referring to the numerous road blocks, traffic restrictions and long walks to get to the various fields. “It was also difficult since several scheduled referees did not work the tournament because of canceled flights due to the snow storms.”

As a result many of the referees, Morales included, had to officiate eight games per day instead of the scheduled four or five.

“I was extremely tired at the end of the day, and we didn’t get back to the hotel until almost midnight, but I’m glad I did it,” Morales said.

Morales continues to build on his knowledge of the game he loves and seeks out higher level competitions in his quest to becoming a Grade 1 FIFA level referee (Federation International Football Association) while simultaneously working part-time with the Santa Barbara Unified School District while completing his high school studies. He will graduate from San Marcos in June and plans to continue his studies at Santa Barbara City College.

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