Young Referees of the Year Announced


Young Referee of The Year Award Winners Announced


Colorado Soccer Association and Colorado Soccer Referee Program are pleased to announce the 2018 Colorado Young Referees of The Year – Patricia McCracken and Bowen Taylor. Patricia and Bowen were among a very strong class of candidates for the award, nominated by assignors, instructors, mentors and other members of the referee community.  They will now compete with other YROTY winners from the 14 states within the US Youth Soccer Far West Region to earn recognition as Regional Young Referee of The Year. A national winner will be chosen from among the regional winners. Patricia and Bowen will be honored for their achievements at the Colorado Soccer Association annual Awards Dinner held in conjunction with the Annual General Meeting on January 26, 2019.




Young Referee of The Year (female) Patricia McCracken

Patricia 1

Patricia McCracken, a 2019 grade 7 referee, is a Denver School of the Arts vocal music major in addition to being part of a family of referees – including her grandfather who is still working games at age 75. Patricia credits her grandfather’s continued passion for the game as one reason she stayed with refereeing even after having to quit playing due to several concussions.


“I am always happy to see Patricia’s name on the assignment sheet, says Brian McLaren, site coordinator and referee mentor at Stenger Soccer Complex in Arvada, Colorado. “During the few short years I have known her, Patricia has progressed into a capable referee who is capable of managing the most competitive matches. Her professionalism and dedication to the game is always evident in her appearance, attitude and work.”


Patricia 2“2018 has been a big year for Patricia as she continues to grow in her referee career says Denise Duran, Colorado State Director of Instruction. “Patricia had an outstanding performance during our Colorado youth State Cup & President’s Cup competitions and was selected to represent Colorado at Far West President’s Cup in Salt Lake City. Traveling with the delegation gave me the opportunity to see her thrive from the experience. I could tell that Patricia was excited and motivated by the regional competition and expressed her wishes to advance further and make being a referee a true priority.”


“Refereeing is a huge stress reliever,” says Patricia. “Although there are times that the job can be a little bit stressful, it often releases more than it creates. The referee community is tight knit and I am glad to be a part of it. In return, I always work to make other referees feel just as supported as I do in the community.” 





Young Referee of The Year (male) Bowen Taylor


Bowen 1 copyBowen Taylor, a 2019 grade 7 referee, started his referee journey in the altitude of Evergreen, Colorado after responding to a call for help from his local club. In addition to working as a referee, Bowen coached and trained players in his community until his passion for refereeing overtook his work as a coach. “I believe that every soccer player, no matter what level, deserves a fair game,” says Bowen. “Every time I step on the field, whether it’s a rec game, a DA game or adults, I give my 100 percent. My community has given me the opportunity to become who I am as a referee and as a person. This is why it is so important to me to give back to my community.”


“Bowen has quickly made great strides in his referee career,” says Denise Duran, Colorado State Director of Instruction. “I have had the pleasure of getting to know Bowen better during the last year – on and off the field. His positive attitude is infectious. Bowen always has a smile on his face. In addition, he is dependable and always willing to step in and help out. He has traveled for outdoor soccer to events like Region IV Presidents Cup and Developmental Academy Showcases as well as in his role as a US Soccer Futsal referee.”


“I have had an opportunity to work with Bowen during numerous youth league and tournament matches, adult league matches, and high school matches,” says Neal Fausset, Colorado State Referee Administrator. “And I was impressed with his maturity, decision making, and player management.”


“Bowen’s ability to act professional in all situations and stay neutral while working games for a club he devotes so much time only displays his humble attitude and professionalism,” says Eric Smith, Colorado instructor, mentor and Altitude Cup tournament referee coordinator. “When Bowen meets a new person, or referee, he ensures that he treats each person with a tremendous amount of respect and character. He is professional in his demeanor when addressing coaches, parents, players, and in everyday life.”


Bowen graduated from Conifer High School in May 2018 and began an apprenticeship with a local heating and air conditioning company as a technician – one of the youngest people to ever be accepted into this program. “One reason I chose this path is that it gives me the opportunity to continue to develop and advance as a referee,“ adds Bowen. “I care about the affect I have on the people around me. I try to be positive in every situation – whether on the field or in my daily life.”

IMG_20181208_124540  Bowen 2


About the Young Referee of The Year Award program:

Colorado Soccer Association and the Colorado Referee Administration annually recognize the top young male and female referees in Colorado Soccer with the Young Referee of the Year award. Recipients of this award are honored for their accomplishments as a referee, student and member of the community.

Those applying should be working the highest level tournaments (State Cup and President's Cup) in the state during the nomination process and be prepared/available to attend Far West Regionals and/or Far West Regional Presidents' Cup in June if selected as the Colorado Young Referee of The Year.

The award is presented each January at the Colorado Soccer Association Annual General Meeting Awards Banquet.

Award Requirements for 2019:

An individual may be selected as the Female Youth Referee of the Year or Male Youth Referee of the year for extraordinary accomplishments as a young soccer referee if the individual:

      1) was certified as a Federation referee for the seasonal year immediately prior to the seasonal year for which the individual is nominated;

      2) is currently certified as a Federation referee for the seasonal year in which the individual is nominated;

      3) during those two seasonal years, the nominee officiated games primarily for US Youth Soccer, Region IV, Colorado Soccer Association or any member club of those organizations;

      4) did not reach 19 years of age prior to August 1, 2019

Candidates should begin preparing their portfolio in order to be able to submit the information electronically prior to the application deadline. More information is available on the Referee Resources page at