In a climactic battle for Little Guy Football supremacy, the Sunlight Federal Credit Union Rattlers defeated the Blue Sky Adventures Tornados in an overtime game for the history books. After being rescheduled due to weather, the championship game was played Oct. 15 at Dan Madia Field. It was a little chilly but honestly the perfect night for football.

I was proud of the sportsmanship shown by all teams that played that night. Watching games like that prove athletes learn more than just specific sports skills; rather, they learn a variety of athletic and social skills that last a lifetime. To those coaches who volunteered their time and provided a great example to their players, your time is appreciated.

The Sheridan Recreation District would not have been able to make this Little Guy Football season happen without outstanding officials. A big thank you to the tackle football officials Shane Parker, Ryan Parker, Mark Rogaczewski, Zane Tunby, John Pine, Greg Brewer and flag football officials Shane Karajanis, Jon Daniels, Alden Coffey, Eric Taylor and field supervisor Steve Marosok. These guys worked in all weather conditions, were dependable and most importantly were a great example to the players.

During a time where youth sports programs struggle to find officials nationally, our community has produced folks that step up and do a fantastic job. Officials have the hardest job on the field and are judged the harshest, yet the officials we have are top notch, have a good attitude and we are all lucky they give back to the sport.

Officiating athletics is an incredible way to give back to the community. Though at times a thankless job, officiating provides the structure for the character building and lesson learning that comes with participating in sports. All of the glory is in coaching and playing but the hard work is officiating. Those that do the job, thank you.

In all levels of sport we need to evaluate how officials are treated during the game, how they are rewarded for the job and how we keep them interested in continuing and find ways to attract new recruits. It is essential to the future of athletics that we find ways to attract great officials and keep them around.

That being said, remember we can all do our part by being respectful at games, giving back to athletics ourselves and teaching sportsmanship to the youth we influence. It is all of our responsibility to be a good example.

Several Sheridan Recreation District staff members went to the Wyoming Recreation and Parks Association Conference in Gillette Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. We attended sessions on sports programming, ball field maintenance, human resources and more. I was fortunate to receive the outstanding young professional award as well as a place on the Wyoming Recreation and Parks Association board. I am looking forward to building relationships with professionals around the state to learn more about parks and recreation issues and successes.

Though Mother Nature has teased us with a taste of snow, I am holding on to actually having a fall season. October is a great month because of the change of season, MLB baseball gets exciting to watch and of course Halloween. I hope all of you running enthusiasts can join us for the Morning Mayhem Halloween 5k Run and 1 Mile Kids Run next Saturday. Come in costume and stick around for your chance to win a caramel apple.

Seth Ulvestad is the executive director of the Sheridan Recreation District.