Officials and Candidates
Left to Right: Ramy Touchan, Matt Stewart, Brandon Marshall, Matt Sternheim, and Alicia Messer. Ramy Touchan was selected for the second year as a National Referee (Center Referee). Matt Stewart and Brandan Marshall received their National badges as Assistant Referees this year. Matt Sternheim and Alicia Messer were accepted as National Candidates as Assistant Referees this year. All went to the same national camp on different weeks to receive either the National or National Candidate badge.
Ramy Touchan comments: This achievement means a lot to me and I appreciate the help and support from everyone along the way that helped make this happen. Don't think that this is an impossible accomplishment, but you must work very hard to get there. Everything you do gets you one step closer and none of it goes unnoticed. Don't rush through this process because you will only be average, work harder and longer and you will be great. I will end with this: "Don't look for the big moments in the game, be ready for them!"
Matt Stewart comments: I thank all of those who were supportive in getting me to my current position. One of the biggest being Dan Christy but all the other officials in the state who wanted to work games with me and give me feedback, that always helps. To those who aspire to get to the national level, be patient, humble, always be open to feedback and not take it personally. We are always learning from each game, no one is above it. The most important thing to remember is common sense, "Intelligence in the perception of the game, the attitude of the players, the place and moment of the offense." - Michel Vautrot
Brandon Marshall comments: To be selected to this group of elite referees is a tremendous honor. Although I came up mostly through Missouri, the support I've received from the Arizona Referee Administration after moving here has been outstanding. I encourage all referees to approach us, ask us questions, and learn from us. We won't be able to do this forever, so part of our duty is to help prepare the next group of Arizona National Officials and keep the quality of Arizona referees at the highest level. Work hard on fitness, listen to feedback, keep learning, and perhaps most importantly, stay humble.
Alicia Messer comments: My journey to earning my National Candidacy started as a teenager, when refereeing was a flexible weekend job that worked around my schedule as a player. When I was first certified, I did not know the opportunities available to me until one mentor encouraged me to attend youth regionals. The last few years, I have dedicated myself to improving my fitness, keeping a healthy diet, and challenging myself with higher-level games in order to improve. I encourage referees with a desire to upgrade to control the controllables (such as fitness and nutrition), connect with a mentor, and challenge yourself in every game to perform better than your last. I am very grateful for Arizona's support system in helping me get to this point in my career!