Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 35
Jordan JantzenRegion 83 of the American Youth Soccer Organization
BY ARIEL WATERMAN
Jordan Jantzen is truly a Renaissance gentleman, although a very young one. He was quite precise when he said he’s 15-1/2 years old, and that precision is what’s garnered him tremendous respect in local soccer circles. That’s because he’s not just a first-rate soccer player, he’s also a highly respected coach and referee for Arroyo Grande’s Region 83 of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO).
Jantzen has been involved with AYSO since he was 5 and currently plays on an AYSO U16 team as a forward.
He has also been coaching soccer for the last two years, and his voice can often be heard shouting instructions and encouragement over those of other coaches on the pitch during weekly practice sessions. He started by assisting his mother five years ago when she coached his sister Leah’s U8 team.
When he was 10, he began to referee for U8 games. Gary Bentley, director of referee assessment for Arroyo Grande’s AYSO Region 83, has known Jantzen for almost four years and taught him how to referee soccer games.
Jantzen is currently an intermediate-level referee for AYSO girls and boys divisions up to U14.
“He’s the kind of guy who will coach three or four games in a day,” Bentley commented. “Then, if he sees no one is available to ref a game, he’ll put on the uniform and go out there and ref in spite of being tired. I trust him 100 percent.”
Jantzen has also refereed for AYSO tournaments out of the area, including championship games. He plans to go through cross certification so he can referee for club games next year.
“Some say I like being in charge of the game, which I do, but it brings a different perspective of soccer,” he said of his interest in refereeing. “Every game has something new that I haven’t seen before, and I learn something new as a ref, a coach, and a player.
Bentley stated, “He recently refereed games for Paulding and Judkins middle schools and was paid for it. They said he was outstanding. He’s also an remarkable soccer player himself. He’s so fast, he’s like lightning! His team, the coaches, and the referees all like and respect him.”
In his spare time, Jordan relaxes by watching Major League soccer, his favorite player is Landon Donavan.