High school teams gathered at Tamiami Park on the 9th & 10th to scrimmage at an officiating camp for the Austin Officiating Group. Headed by former NFL official Gerald Austin, the Austin 34 officiating camp teaches persons interested in being football referees, the techniques and mechanics of seven man crews that are in collegiate and professional football games. Players and fans may not realize but officiating a game takes on the same dynamics which players deal with during game situations on their respective teams (chemistry, communication, execution, adjustment). Officials must communicate with each other during the heightened pace of a game to ensure that all areas are supervised from the coin toss to the extra point tries. There are from four man to seven man crews--which was the target of the officiating camp. Gerald Austin, the current head of officiating in Conference USA holds these clinics to better train referees. From an article on the website, profootballreferee.com, the interview he gave says he wants referees (in Conference USA) to be able to take constructive criticism, be coachable and take direct feedback without getting offended by the critique.
The weather in the late afternoon was difficult and mirrored what many teams will be feeling in July when they start practice for the fall season and spectators were finding any shade under trees and in their cars to watch their friends or sons in relative comfort. The immense support that friends and family members give their players throughout the official football season was on display as the crowd was over a hundred strong, some filming with cameras and others cheering loudly. Broward teams, Piper and Cardinal Gibbons attended with local Miami-Dade State Champions South Dade and Booker T and other teams like Reagan H.S. (Doral), Braddock, Mater Academy, Carol City. Five fields were spread across an area where the Soccer Academy of the Americas / Real Madrid Soccer League practice and a pair of teams split ends on each field to conduct the scrimmages. The teams played two scrimmages alternating opponents and fields. Official jamborees will be played later in May to signal the end of Spring football.