It's a kick to be a zebra — or a canary
The Good Life|March 2021
When making the call is your calling
SEBASTIAN MORAGA

Ever wanted to be a canary? How about a zebra?

Well, a few years back, Ed Navarro of Wenatchee and Steve Simonson of Cashmere made the decision to become such creatures.

Steve in 1980 and Ed about 10 years ago, added a striped black and white shirt — in Steve’s case and a yellow one for Ed — to their wardrobe on a semi-permanent basis.

They became referees, with Ed reffing soccer games and Steve basketball games.

Steve, a teacher in Cashmere, just thought it would be a cool part time job back then. He was 19 and had enrolled at Wenatchee Valley College, when a WVC coach who reffed on the side asked his team whether anyone might want to give the zebra shirt a try. Never did he think he would be at it after 40 years.

“I kind of fell in love with it,” Steve said, later adding, “I just went from one season to the next.”

The love of the game, coupled with the ability to help people and the chance to be part of a team, all drew Steve to keep trotting up and down the hardwood.

Ed got the reffing bug while coaching his children’s rec games and seeing that the refs were few and far between.

“I could see the need for more referees,” Ed said. “Everywhere you went.”

He liked getting exercise watching the sport he loved, and the paycheck — modest as it may be — did not hurt. He went from rec games to high school and college games all around the Northwest.

In addition to reffing for college and high school, Steve and Ed have served as mentors to several refs. Steve serves on executive committee of the Washington Officials Association and counts among his onetime mentees Quincy’s Nate Harris, last seen calling some pretty big-time games at the NCAA Division 1 level in basketball.

Steve refs mostly boys’ games, with some girls’ games sprinkled in. There’s no difference in his approach to either game, he said.

“A block is a block, a foul is a foul and a travel is a travel,” he said.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

RELATED STORIES

VALERIE BERTINELLI STARTING OVER at 62

THE NEWLY DIVORCED STAR OF VALERIE'S HOME COOKING HAS NO REGRETS ABOUT CHANGING UP HER LIFE

2 mins read
Closer US
June 20, 2022

The National Interest: Jonathan Chait

They Will Do It Again Republicans have not been chastened by the revelations of the January 6 committee.

6 mins read
New York magazine
June 20-July3, 2022

The Dream Is On

An all-star team creates a bayside home where art, design, and landscape are perfectly aligned.

3 mins read
Elle Decor US
Summer 2022

Out in the Open

HGTV star Steve Ford turned his industrial loft into the ultimate starter home.

1 min read
Pioneer Woman
Summer 2022

The Power Trip Olivia Nuzzi: STEVE SCHMIDT'S LONELY WAR

The political operative is spilling tea on all his perceived enemies. He swears he’s never been happier.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
June 06 - 19, 2022

NICK CANNON IS ALL RIGHT

OVER 25 YEARS, THE ENTERTAINER AND FATHER OF EIGHT HAS RISEN TO FAME, EXPERIENCED EPIC LOVE, AND SUFFERED EXTREME GRIEF-EVERY SECOND IN THE PUBLIC EYE. THROUGH IT ALL, HE'S BECOMING A BETTER DAD, PROVIDER, AND MAN.

10+ mins read
Men's Health
May - June 2022

The long way home

Steve Burton Discusses -His Exit From GH And His Surprise Reprisal Of His First Daytime Role.

10 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
May 30, 2022

THE IPAD'S BIGGEST MOMENTS RANKED

FROM MULTITASKING TO THE M1.

5 mins read
Macworld
June 2022

Meitner MA3

INTEGRATED D/A PROCESSOR

10+ mins read
Stereophile
June 2022

BOEING CAPSULE LANDS BACK ON EARTH AFTER SPACE SHAKEDOWN

Boeing’s crew taxi returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Wednesday, completing a repeat test flight before NASA astronauts climb aboard.

2 mins read
Techlife News
May 28, 2022