Local referee follows in dad's footsteps with dream of college officiating

1 month 3 weeks 21 hours ago March 05, 2017 Mar 5, 2017 Sunday, March 05 2017 Sunday, March 05, 2017 7:00:00 AM CST in Sports
By: Jacob Kornhauser, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter

COLUMBIA - Being a basketball referee can be an unforgivable job. The constant yelling from fans, arguing from coaches; most wouldn't want to do it. But Bobby Vestal's dad did it for as long as he could remember, so naturally, he wanted to also.

"I always wanted to be like my dad," Bobby Vestal said. "I can remember being five and six years old and going to places like Moberly Junior College and having to sit in the stands while he's reffing." 

Bobby's first game with his dad came just a few years after his first game, about 12 years ago. Eventually, two years ago, though, it was time for Dan Vestal to retire. 

"He'd been talking about it for years," Bobby Vestal said. "He was just having trouble getting up and down the court. He kind of realized he needed to hang it up." 

So in his final game, it was only fitting that Dan's partner was his son. In a Moberly junior varsity game, Bobby and Dan officiated their final game together.

"He hugged me before the game started, usually you give that fist bump," Bobby Vestal said. "But he gave me a hug before the game ended, so I'll always remember that."

"I didn't think it was going to be that big of a deal, but they kind of had a little celebration for me," Dan Vestal said. "It was pretty cool to do the last game with my son."  

In the time since then, Bobby has increased the number of games he's doing and is officiating higher levels of high school. During the off-seasons he is going to division-one camps. Now, he tries to go even further than his dad did.

"He always says, 'you got further than I ever did in a shorter amount of time' so I must be doing something right, right now," Bobby Vestal said. 

And now his dad wants Bobby to advance, but just enjoy the journey.

"I want him to be good at what he does," Dan Vestal said. "But I also want him to say, when he walks off the court, 'hey, I gave it my best shot.'"

 

 

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis' city minimum wage could rise to $10 an hour starting next week now that... More >>
11 minutes ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:16:16 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri motorcycle crashes have resulted in 475 deaths since 2012, with 122 fatalities occurring in last year... More >>
47 minutes ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:41:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A controversial bill moving through the Missouri General Assembly could change the handling of workplace discrimination claims in... More >>
59 minutes ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:28:24 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are pushing legislation that would make it harder for judges to require domestic violence... More >>
1 hour ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 2:54:16 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A coalition of organizations rallied at the state capitol Wednesday in support of a "Moral Missouri." ... More >>
1 hour ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 2:48:56 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Fire officials in St. Louis are investigating after a vacant home exploded, sending glass, wood and... More >>
3 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 1:20:50 PM CDT in Continuous News
NEOSHO (AP) - Students at a college in southwestern Missouri will see a tuition increase in the coming year in... More >>
3 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 12:47:33 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has set an execution date for this summer for a man sentenced... More >>
3 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 12:28:09 PM CDT in News
PINE LAWN (AP) — Police are looking for two cars in connection with the shooting deaths of three men in... More >>
4 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 12:23:39 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Two men once detained at the Jackson County jail are separately suing over the lockup's conditions... More >>
4 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 11:39:45 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A federal education law that requires schools to provide transportation to homeless students is having an impact... More >>
4 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 11:34:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Popular mobile app and ridesharing service "Lyft" has joined Uber in Columbia. Lyft added Columbia to its... More >>
5 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 11:06:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Firefighters responded to a house fire at Ridgecrest Drive early Wednesday morning. Eight Columbia Fire Department units... More >>
5 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 10:53:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An audit launched in the wake of unrest following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown... More >>
6 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 10:11:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Records show that the body of an inmate who hanged himself at a St. Louis halfway... More >>
6 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 9:31:53 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Four more people have been sentenced for their roles in a multi-million fraud that involved impersonating... More >>
7 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:57:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Tuesday morning on suspicion of sex crimes involving an underage girl. According to... More >>
7 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:50:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A former Jefferson City business owner has admitted to his role in a burglary scheme in... More >>
7 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:30:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
5pm 51°
6pm 50°
7pm 49°
8pm 49°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
4:00p
Cops Reloaded
4:30p
The Cleveland Show
5:00p
American Dad!

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
The 100
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld