Marty Clements reaches officiating milestone

JACKSON, Tenn. — Marty Clements has been refereeing since 1972, which is a job he has had no problem maintaining.

“When I was playing, I enjoyed being out there and I knew we couldn’t play if we didn’t have officials,” Clements said.

He’s refereed many basketball, football, baseball, softball and volleyball games — racking up a total of 5,000 games.

It’s not all about sports for Clements though.

During the day, Clements is the director of the Jackson-Madison County Emergency Management Agency.

“Night job I can choose to do it, the day job, I’m already hired there and I’m going to do it,” Clements said.

Although his love for the games hasn’t changed, Clements said the fans have.

“We’ve lost a lot of respect out there and that’s what makes it harder.”

He’s had his fair share of fans yelling at him from the stands and has a message for those who think they can do the job better.

“Uh, try it,” Clements said.

Throughout the years of Clements wearing a white hat, he has been behind the plate for more than 2,700 baseball and softball games and has officiated almost 1,400 football games.

But Clements said those football numbers will soon stop climbing because this season will be his last.

“My knees got too bad I’m not near as fast I used to be,” he said.  “I wasn’t very fast back then, but you know the High School guys they deserve someone that can be out there and stay with them a little bit better.”

But as for when he will retire the whistle for good, we will have to wait and see.

“I’m not sure, as far as this right here (on the softball field), I can do this a little longer because it doesn’t take a lot of movement and everything,” Clements said.