ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Doing any job for 30-years is an accomplishment, but what is even more impressive is having a positive impact on people along the way.
“I hope I have an impact on every official that I call with,” said High School Referee Ronnie Hargis.
“Dedicated,” “professional,” “hard working,” and “admirable” are just some of the words many referees in the Abilene area use to describe their long time colleague Ronnie Hargis.
“I’m a blessed person to do it. I’m just a country boy from a small town in West Texas. If you can get to that level, you’ve done something right,” said Hargis.
For the past 30-years Hargis has officiated high school sports across the Big Country, and at one point served as President of the Abilene Basketball Chapter.
“Being the Chapter President, you put a lot of extra time in there that’s not on the court, it’s behind the scenes. The training, the preparation, the meetings,” said High School Referee Jeanna Gordon.
Hargis has been awarded for officiating basketball, football, and baseball state championship games. Over the years, his success has inspired other referees around Abilene to one day do the same.
“Seeing that he’s gone to state a few times, that’s kind of my goal and aspirations, to make it to the state tournament,” said Abilene Basketball Chapter Board Member Thomas Aly.
“That speaks for itself, to be able to call at the state level in three different sports. There’s not that many people that do that, or have done that. So that means he’s good at what he does, he has a passion for what he does, and he’s genuine,” said Gordon.
Being a referee is a major time commitment, and Hargis says he could not have followed his passions over the past three decades without the love and support of his wife, children, and friends.
“I looked back at my calendar and I had some kind of officiating duties every week of the year but one. What I’d really like to do if I’m here long enough, is to see my grandkids, if they want to officiate, to get there too,” said Hargis.
As of right now Hargis plans to retire at the end of the year. He says there is a major shortage of high school referees.