One of the most stressful jobs in sports is being an official or an umpire. When you attend a baseball or softball game here in Stephenville, the umpire may just be Ricky Barrett, a 23-year-old recent Tarleton graduate who has enjoyed his time working for the Stephenville Parks and Recreation Department.

What do you enjoy about being an umpire for SPARD?

I’ve always been around sports. I have a new, profound appreciation for umpires now that I have some experience. I’ve gained some knowledge from doing this after working with the coaches, but I’ve also helped the kids learn the game. I really enjoy that aspect of it.

What made you want to be an umpire?

I plan on going into coaching eventually. I wanted to see the side of the umpires. I always played and coached, but I never umpired until 2013 and it’s helped me get a full view of the game.

What’s your least favorite thing about being an umpire?

It’s honestly not really even the coaches. It’s the parents who are in the stands. They can sometimes get a little bit out of hand. The coaches here in Stephenville are usually pretty cool though. They aren’t aggressive and are trying to teach the kids the game.

How do you deal with the pressure?

We’ve had professional umpires come in and teach us how to do our job the right way. Knowing that we have SPARD here to help further our development as umpires is something that’s really cool and I don’t know if every other place has that.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an umpire?

SPARD puts out a lot of stuff on Hire A Texan. They help out Tarleton students here. It’s not very hard to get a job up here. They’re always looking for umpires and any time they can help someone from Tarleton, they’re going to do it.