WVSA Referee Program names Keefover and Sharpe as 2015 Young Referees of the Year

posted Sep 26, 2015, 5:03 PM by Michael McCarthy   [ updated Oct 7, 2017, 5:56 PM ]

Congratulations to the 2015 WV Soccer Association Young Female and Male Referees of the Year:  Ashley Keefover and Justin Sharpe.

Ashley, 16, of Fairmont, West Virginia, is a Grade 8 referee in her third year of service.  She referees for the local Marion County recreational league and has worked WVSA statewide events including Kohl’s Cup and Open Cup.  Dean Shriver of Marion County described her as a reliable and tireless referee for the local league, and West Virginia State Referee Administrator Michael McCarthy noted that she is committed to developing as a referee, as evidenced by her willingness to make the trip all the way from Fairmont this past June merely for the opportunity to observe referee crews working the US Youth Soccer Region 1 Championship tournament.

Justin, 18, of Morgantown, West Virginia, is a Grade 7 Referee in his sixth year as an official.  He referees high school matches as well as youth and adult amateur matches for the Mountaineer United Soccer Club.  He has worked several WVSA statewide events, including Kohl’s Cup, Open Cup and the WVSA State Championships, as well as events for US Youth Soccer Region 1, including President’s Cup, the Olympic Development Program (ODP) Tournament and the US Youth Soccer Region 1 Championship tournament, where he served as West Virginia’s Head of Delegation in 2015.  He has also worked matches in the United Soccer Leagues’ Premier Development League (USL PDL) and is poised to upgrade to Grade 6 State Referee during the 2016 badge year.  He also mentors newer and younger referees, as noted by Jessica Kennedy, former State Youth Referee Administrator for West Virginia, who observed that “Justin is a very ambitious young man who encourages other young referees around him to strive to become better.”

Ashley and Justin will be honored at the 2016 WVSA Hall of Fame and Awards Dinner in Charleston, WV, on March 5 and will now both be considered for the US Youth Soccer Region 1 Young Femal and Male Referee of the Year honor.  Nominees for both the West Virginia and the Region 1 awards are judged on their commitment to personal development, promotion of the game and involvement in the community.