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First all-female referee crew to officiate Mississippi high school football game

Mississippi all-female referee crew
Official Sarah Fleming in action during a Mississippi high school football game (Courtesy of Adrienne Barnes)

On Friday, August 26, Mississippi high school football history will be made.

SuperTalk Mississippi News has confirmed that the state’s first-ever all-female referee crew will officiate a game between Murrah High School and Cleveland Central.

One of the officials, Adrienne Barnes, spoke with us about how important it is that she and her colleagues have finally been given a chance to perform in a field where women have historically been dismissed in favor of their male counterparts.

“This opportunity is absolutely monumental as it is a positive step in the right direction. Women have always wanted a seat at the table. I’ve been told, early in my career as a baseball umpire and football referee, ‘They’re not ready to see a woman in these sports!’ Why limit us?” Barnes asked adding, “Men officiate women’s sports, so why can’t women officiate men’s sports? If we have to take the bruises to open doors for more women, this is the crew to do it.”

Rounding out the crew with Barnes, who will serve as referee, are the following:

  • Sarah Fleming – Umpire
  • Sherri Vaughans – Head Line Judge
  • Fran Adams – Line Judge
  • Felicia Davis – Side Judge
  • Alona Alexander – Field Judge
  • Dominique Sutton – Back Judge
  • Phylicia Cotten – 40s Clock
  • Constance Clark – Electronic Clock Operator
  • Tamika Lipsey – Chain Crew
  • Timika Morris – Chain Crew
  • Charmaine Smith – Chain Crew

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