Behind The Flag
Behind The Flag
Jun 18, 2020
Season 1 Spring 2020 Recap
Play • 31 min

2020 Spring Study Session Recap 

Dennis Barela (3s):

Welcome to behind the flag podcast. We want to thank our sponsor, Get It Right Enterprises, Get It Right offers great training software to learn football rules. They can be located at Bob Arnone is the owner and founder of get it right and has truly provided some great football training to the New Mexico official association. My name is Dennis Barela. I'm a Albuquerque high school football official working line of scrimmage. And I also just finished my first year of division two last year at the line of scrimmage.

Dennis Barela (35s):

Cohost is Ken Adent. He has a back judge out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and also has just completed his first year of division two college football officiating, Rhonda, thank you support. And we truly hope you enjoy our webinars that could be locate at Behind The Flag on YouTube and our podcast at Behind The Flag. Our website is

Ken Adent (1m 5s):

Nice to be back long break too long of a break for me. But spring was amazing. I don't know about you, but Oh my gosh, the topics, the speakers, it was, it was absolutely amazing. I think I have no less than five, six pages of notes. Haven't had time to go through and organize them. But what did you think?

Dennis Barela (1m 25s):

And here we go. After that spring session, I think we did about 24 webinars that turned into podcast and it just made the time fly by 24, 24 webinars in about six weeks I believe, or less. And the speakers we had, which was just crazy. So we had to take a break.

Ken Adent (1m 47s):

Yeah. We also have to be honest, it didn't start off as that as our goal, it started off as a couple of guys missing football, talking one on one or to talk more football and just, you know, get other guys involved with that passion that we have. And it just blossomed.

Dennis Barela (2m 5s):

Right. And I was surprised on everybody. We re reached out to agreed to, to bring some training to New Mexico. I mean, it didn't matter who it was. They said yes. Before we could stop asking the question.

Ken Adent (2m 18s):

Sure. The, the reply, the response was almost immediate too. It was, I expected everybody to be on board, but not to the fashion that it was, it was every, it was infectious almost.

Dennis Barela (2m 29s):

Right. And so we're getting ready to start our summer study sessions and, you know, to try to follow up what we did the Springs and it'd be difficult. But I think after brainstorming for a month, I think we got some pretty good ideas of what we'll want to do for the, for the summer. But before we do that, I think we want to try something new and for the summer, and I think this will be directed towards, towards Ken.

Dennis Barela (3m 3s):

Thanks. Yeah. And so we're going to, we're going to call it Frank's jeopardy. We cut this little thing from a PAC 12 umpire about football jeopardy, and I think we're gonna give it a try and test Ken's football knowledge.

Ken Adent (3m 19s):

Great. Put me on the spot in front of everybody. Yeah. Feel free. I guess, football, football, jeopardy. And you can see, you don't have to be brilliant to be in a football official.

Dennis Barela (3m 28s):

So there's quite a few categories just like, just like jeopardy on TV, but let's give this a try and see what, what kind of answers can, can go ahead, Alex. Yeah.

3 (3m 40s):


Dennis Barela (3m 44s):

So, so the categories are, you definitely need to know these official business cross town trivia. So I'll take official business for 600 official business for 600. Well, we don't have a 600, it goes from 100, 200, 300, 400, 500. Oh, okay. About double jeopardy. Okay. Just about, there might be a double jeopardy in their summer.

Dennis Barela (4m 15s):

We haven't really looked at these, but you know, I don't know the rules. I'm just going for it here. So

Ken Adent (4m 22s):

Let's see. I'm going to go.

Dennis Barela (4m 24s):

Let's go 300. Which one? The official business. Right? You want official business for 300? No, no, no. Let's, let's change it up. What should I know? Yeah, let's do it. Why not? Give me a question. Okay. This is a block against opponent. I don't know. Then the runner who does not see the blocker approaching,

Ken Adent (4m 47s):

What is

Dennis Barela (4m 49s):

Blindside block? That's correct. What rule is it? Oh

Ken Adent (4m 53s):

Man. Now you're really gonna put me on the somewhere in rule two. I have no idea what subsection, but

Dennis Barela (4m 59s):

Two dash four dash 10, I think. Oh, maybe that's a, maybe that's college, obviously, maybe college. We didn't rehearse that. Yeah, that might be COVID anyway, that's a,

Ken Adent (5m 10s):

So give me a favor every time we do this, don't get it. Let me just free thing, free ball, this thing. And we're going to just go for it. I'm not going to preplan and look ahead in the rule book for I'll just do the best I can.

Dennis Barela (5m 24s):

Yeah. That's that's that's pretty cool though. Yeah. Play that music again. One more time. Jeopardy music. Yeah. I was getting into it. Yeah.

3 (5m 34s):


Ken Adent (5m 39s):

So in the background, maybe while I'm thinking of what rule you can do the non

Dennis Barela (5m 44s):

Yeah. All right. Well, he got that one, right? Yeah. That was a pretty simple one. But you know, it's kind of talk about what we did in the spring and kind of recap a little bit before we start the summer session, where do you start? Yeah, I mean, well, when, when we decided to do this, our main goal was bringing consistency across the state, you know? And we were like, well, how do we do that?

Dennis Barela (6m 14s):

We just had to start talking football and just start bringing in clinicians and trying to get the same concept to every official in the state of New Mexico. And it's kind of blossomed from there, but that's, that's where we started.

Ken Adent (6m 29s):

Well, you know, the state clinic was supposed to bring everybody and it does technically it brings everybody together. But you know, you only have, you know, a couple of topics that come up. It's, it's honestly, it's not enough time to bring guys from, you know, the Clovis to Rio Rancho, to Farmington, to Las Cruces. You know, we got such a big state and there was such a disconnect from region to region and, you know, having everybody involved or, or potentially involved in one platform to speak out and hear guys from down South, talk to guys up North, and are you guys doing it this way?

Ken Adent (7m 11s):

Are you doing it this way? And what do you guys have on this? And how do you, you know, keep coaches off the sideline, you know, and on and on and on. And, you know, having all these presenters come on and give everybody an opportunity to kind of learn from one platform. It's I think it's been invaluable for the state and I know it's never been done before, so I'm kinda glad that we're trailblazers and, and we're getting positive feedback,

Dennis Barela (7m 36s):

Right. And the state clinic happens once a year and, you know, as high school official, you know, we started studying maybe in July when we first started July, August. And then we started with doing some summer sessions classroom during June, July before the state clinic at the enum A's office. And then we started with, and then we went to weekly, weekly quizzes, I guess, test questions, video breakdown that we would send out once a week during the season with Esteban baka for Santa Fe, shout out to a state one.

Dennis Barela (8m 15s):

And so we said, well, we're not doing anything in the spring. And then, you know, we said, well, why don't we do a podcast? And then, well, you know, let's try webinars first. And so we started putting together some webinars and we said, well, let's reach out to land Clark. He's a New Mexico resident. Maybe he'll help us out. And, you know, he was the first one to say yes, as a, as a NFL official.

Dennis Barela (8m 48s):

And he talked about game management and it just took off from there. But I think, I think Mr. Clark had a big influence on other people following in his footsteps and helping us at that level. But I think one of the big takeaways that I had this spring, and one of the main comments that kind of stayed with me and I think stayed with some other officials and with NM Ali's office is when Scott Novak said a mentor is someone who is willing to train another official of group officials, do some take someday, take his job.

Dennis Barela (9m 29s):

And I'm not saying we're mentors or, or we're trying to be somebody's mentor, but to provide training to other officials, did it become better? I think that's kind of just stayed with me that comment the whole spring going, you know, that's, that was a driving factor and just keep doing these things. Some of the other topics, you know, after that was how prepared are you? You know, we kind of talked about, well, how comfortable are you on the field?

Dennis Barela (10m 2s):

And, and a lot of the clinicians said, it's not about being comfortable. It's about how prepared I am. Right? And so without those two things, nothing else would fall in place. You know, you have to be prepared to manage a game. You have to be prepared pair to talk to and communicate with your other officials on your crew and with the head coaches and you know, that went into, okay.

Dennis Barela (10m 35s):

So once I get there and I'm communicating, I have three member that those assistant coaches that are on the sidelines behind us yelling, we have three member that just because they're assistant coaches today, that only means that they're going to be a head coach tomorrow, somewhere, right? The way we treat them today on the field as assistant coach can affect how we communicate with them tomorrow as a head coach.

Ken Adent (11m 3s):

Yeah, exactly. It would kind of, there's so many things that stick out from me, but one-on-one to touch base on is Mike Contrares. The army coordinator of officials said, if you're not trying to be the best back judge or line judge or headlines men in your group or your conference, then you're on your way down. You know, Dennis and I are certainly not the best officials in the state of New Mexico or even in our association.

Ken Adent (11m 36s):

And we don't advertise to be that, but what are, you know, the common theme is we want to get better. We have an extreme passion for football. We do other sports too, but football is just, you know, there's just such a passion for it. And I wasn't getting enough information, education, communication. So we started our own thing and I got a, we got to throw a shout out to a rule 11, if you guys don't know, they're there podcasts, it's, it's all geared towards college officials, but you know, these guys are just as passionate and, you know, so it kinda gave us inspiration on why isn't anybody doing this for high school.

Ken Adent (12m 21s):

And we kind of looked around there, there really wasn't there wasn't anybody doing it. And it's like, why not us? And so we pretty much put this thing together with shoelaces and some duct tape and, and it's really blossomed. And the feedback has been fantastic. And I have learned, I've learned so much over the last couple of months, so I'm glad to get back into the summer session. And, and we've got a cool thing coming up, Dennis, tell us about the coaches we got coming in for the first session of, of summer.

Dennis Barela (12m 56s):

Yeah. And so on Saturday, June 20th, we decided that we wanted to do a webinar on defensive schemes. And so that role dried into, well, who's our customer as a football official and a basketball official told me, or told a group of us doing a clinic a few weeks ago that we have to remember as officials officiating as a business.

Dennis Barela (13m 28s):

And our customer is a student athlete and the coach and the head coaches and trust us and relinquish their power that they have over their teams to the officials when we take jurisdiction on the field. And so I took that and I'm like, wow, that was all something I never thought of before. And then when Ken said, Hey, we need to do something with defensive schemes. I think that kind of just rolled into, okay, well we need the head coaches or defensive coordinators to come in and teach us what they're trying to do as coaches on the field at any given point of the game.

Dennis Barela (14m 11s):

You know, not just first and 10, Hey, you know, yeah. We want to stop the offense from making touchdowns, but how are we going to do that? You know, cover three blitzes zones, anything that they can teach us as officials to get better and to put us in the correct position on the field to make the right call and the way we sold it to, to the coaches is, Hey, if you're not willing to come and teach high school officials and we get a call wrong, and we're asking you for your help, there's not more, much more we could do other than to ask you to come teach us on what you're trying to do as head coach at the high school level.

Dennis Barela (14m 55s):

And so I, I think that they are very excited. They put together a great presentation. And so on Saturday, we're going to really hear what high school officials or what high school head coaches and defensive coordinators in the state of New Mexico. One's from LA LA COVID high school in Albuquerque and other head coaches from Centennial down in Las Cruces. And so they have two different types of philosophy in what they're trying to do.

Dennis Barela (15m 26s):

And they were gonna really give us some insight during this webinar on, this is what this is, this defense looks like on the field to help us become better officials.

Ken Adent (15m 39s):

All right. While you were talking about that, I was looking back through the lineup we had in the spring. Some of these names, you know, Dean, I'm going to drop names, okay, go ahead and drop her. But you know, Tyree Walton, the big 12 back judge, I mean talking about field vision and you know, you've got, I mean, look at these names, Frank Valar talking about, you know, strive for excellence. It's, you know, how did we get these guys?

Ken Adent (16m 9s):

I mean, how did we get on this, this, this role? And it's it, I'm still kind of, I look back and think, you know, it's, it's kind of surreal, honestly, what we put together in, in just a short amount of time and, and have this kind of lineup. I mean, it's,

Dennis Barela (16m 28s):

You know, it's, it's officiating as a small community. And I didn't really realize that until probably two months ago on how small it really is, because, you know, we asked Todd Morris from Clovis, Hey Todd, do you know anybody that's willing to give us a webinar or breakdown on X, Y, and Z. And I remember what I asked him, but he says, yeah, I know Brad Rogers, he's an NFL referee. He could give us a great class.

Dennis Barela (16m 59s):

And I remember meeting mr. Rogers in Dallas through the Lonestar conference, on a clinic back in January, I'm like, Oh yeah, I had no idea that Todd was good friends with them. And he just said, let me text him. You know? And then I'm like, well, maybe somebody else knows, right? No, somebody until I asked Leonard Longhorn from Farmington, he goes, Oh, I know Frank velar.

Dennis Barela (17m 29s):

He was my mentor at SASA last year. Let me text him. Oh, I know Roscoe two miles an hour. Let me text him. I'm sure he'll be willing to give us a class. We

Ken Adent (17m 40s):

Got to Sarah Thomas, Sarah Thomas came on the show. Remember?

Dennis Barela (17m 43s):

So bruh. So Todd went through Brad, so it was just one, one, you know, one person away. And, and Brad said, yeah, Sarah would love to come on and give us, give us a class on learning the basics on line of scrimmage. And so

Ken Adent (18m 2s):

She was excellent too, by the way, I mean, just the way she spoke about her trials and tribulations moving up through the ranks and you know, how she deals with coaches and, you know, the respect she had to gain. And it was, it was a really cool hour with her.

Dennis Barela (18m 16s):

Yeah. So it was just, it was just asking people, Hey, do you know anybody that's willing to give us a class? I mean, we asked Dana Pappas, a commissioner of officials here in New Mexico. And she was like, you guys want me to get Tony? Kurento we're like, what? You know, Tony? Oh, can we text him? And he came on and gave us a course on managing adversity. You know, it was, this is this crazy on how people were more than willing to come and, and, and train high school officials from the level that they're, I mean, some of these guys at the top of football officiating in NFL and not just NFL, but official supervisors in the NFL, like Dean Blandino, Mike para.

Ken Adent (19m 5s):

Yeah. Do you give up their time and come and talk to a couple of high school guys?

Dennis Barela (19m 8s):

Yeah. I mean, it was just so, so from that we, we said, well, how are, you know, we're always wondering, how are we doing? Are we making a dent in training? How, how are we being perceived? And is this really going anywhere? Is it just two guys getting the best training that they can and nobody else is listening. And so no, we checked the internet and you know, the podcast keeps track on who's listening and where, and so as of this morning, you know, we're in 10 different countries on the podcast, the us, UK, the France, Mexico, Denmark, Germany, Brazil pull in Italy, Sweden, and I'm like Brazil.

Dennis Barela (19m 57s):

Apparently they have American football and all these countries that somebody is interested in and interested in high school rules and FHS. And so it takes a deep, a step further and, and it breaks down, you know, we're in different 22 different States. You know, we're almost halfway there as far as being in all, all the, all the United States. But, you know, we check the YouTube page and cause all the webinars are downloaded on, on the YouTube page at AFOA underscore RAF.

Dennis Barela (20m 31s):


Ken Adent (20m 32s):

You've been translated to hearing impaired, Dennis got that done.

Dennis Barela (20m 35s):

Most of them are now they're in the process, but they're being transcribed for the hearing impaired backed. We have over 1300 views over 55 subscribers. And you know, we started with the first one, April 14th. How long ago was that? Was it really two months ago? Yeah. Two and a half. Yeah. No, not even two and a half months. Two months ago. You should ask me that on jeopardy. Yeah.

Dennis Barela (21m 5s):

Yeah. So, you know, we, and then, and then we became interested like, well, which podcast was the best? Who liked, who liked, which topic,...

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