FULLERTON, CA (December 22, 2021) – Cal South has announced the recipients of the annual Cal South Referee Program Awards for 2021. These awards are given to outstanding individuals, in four categories, who best exemplify the Cal South Referee Program’s “good standing” expectations, on and off the field, for the calendar season.

The announced winners are:

2021 Heros Baghoumian Cal South Male Referee of the Year Awards

  • Male: Edwar Hernandez
  • Male Rookie of the Year: Jose Landa

2021 Gwen Keck Cal South Female Referee of the Year Awards

  • Female: Ana Valdez
  • Female Rookie of the Year: Viviana Diaz

Winners each receive a plaque with the award name and a Cal South referee jacket with their name and award title embroidered upon it. Cal South State Referee Committee members vote on nominated referees, selecting each winner by majority vote.

The male category awards are named after the late Cal South Youth Referee Administrator, Heros Baghoumian. Born in Iran in 1947, Baghoumian was a top FIFA Referee for many years before emigrating to the U.S. in 1985, eventually joining Cal South, and making such a huge impact mentoring and developing thousands of referees in the area that he was named to the Cal South Hall of Fame after his death at 60 in 2007.

The female category awards are named after the late Gwen Keck, who recently departed this past November in 2021 after a 4+ year battle with cancer. Gwen, in addition to serving as a Youth Referee Mentor to hundreds over the years, was a longtime advocate of the recruitment, development, fair treatment, and advancement of females in sports officiating.

Congratulations from Cal South to all of the Referee Program Award winners! You do all of the refereeing community, and soccer as a whole, a great service by your fine examples.


Cal South Referee Awards Qualification/Selection Criteria: 

Qualification Criteria:

  1. The Referee must have worked a minimum of 20 local games during the season. This includes any of the leagues Cal South Referee Program services. (including pro games).
  2. The Referee must have a Cal South Referee License and is currently in good standing.

Selection Criteria:

  1. Referee’s on-field and off-field performance/professionalism. Possible considerations include:
    • League/tournament reports
    • Remarks of fellow referees/assessors/referee mentors
    • Appointments to high-level assignments: selection to regional/national events
  1. Referee’s off-field behavior:
    • Unyielding professionalism
    • Lack of disciplinary action
  1. Referee’s Service to the unit as Referee/Assistant Referee
    • Coverage of local games
    • Attending educational programs offered
    • Servicing local soccer community

Cal South State Referee Committee members vote on nominated referees, selecting the winner by majority vote.