Soccer, or more commonly referred to internationally as football, is a sport that has been theorized to have sprouted nearly two millennia ago and it is still going strong with modern events such as the ‘Fédération Internationale de Football Association’ (or FIFA) which attract millions.
Gloria Martinez Resendiz, Spanish teacher for the course 2302 for this current semester and doctoral student, has a deeply rooted affection toward the sport. Along with her studies, Resendiz is a soccer referee in her spare time.
“I first began to play soccer when I was a child in Mexico,” she said. “Later on, when I moved to the United States, I played throughout high school.”
Resendiz continued with her passion until college, where a different interest began to sprout in the realm of academics. Prior to college, Resendiz detailed how she had never truly given her maximum towards studies, rather, she was alright with being average. However, this changed when she met an Arlington professor during her studies.
“I owe my love for Spanish literature to a previous professor of mine named Ignacio Ruiz-Perez,” she said. “He showed me that I barely knew anything about my own Mexican culture. From there I continued to study it and am now perusing a Ph.D. in Latin-American literature.”
Though this newfound interest spurred about by Spanish literature and her professor became a passion, for Resendiz, the thought of soccer had never quite left her mind. Prior to leaving for college, a soccer mentor offered her an opportunity.
“The choice was offered to me by my mentor Jennifer Garner be to become referee,” she said. “I left the idea alone for three years. I eventually went back to her and agreed, ever since then, my mentor has been helping me slowly climb up the ranks.”
The grades for soccer referees are a system which ranks their level to officiate certain calibers of games. The grades directly correlate back and are designated by FIFA.
“The referee grades work the opposite of what you might think,” Resendiz said. “You begin at a Grade 10 and work your way down to possibly grade 1; I am currently a grade 6 referee, meaning that I can referee at a state-level.”
The gaps between each grade level becomes increasingly more difficult, requiring more training and effort to move forth. A grade 10 referee is more along the lines of a beach or indoor role, while a grade 1 referee is an international FIFA referee.
Resendiz strives toward being able to move up in rank toward level 5, the highest form of state-level referee, by this time next year. This will be achieved through constant training and advising from her mentor.
Though she is passionate about both soccer and her studies, Resendiz makes clear that soccer is a part-time event, and her main priority is working toward her PhD. Even when faced with the constant onslaught of work, studies and general life, Resendiz goes the extra mile to make sure she reaches her goal.