WHL Official Semenchuk reflects on first Grey Cup assignment – WHL Network

The 109th Grey Cup had some distinct WHL flavour, and not just because it was played near the home of the Regina Pats.

WHL Official Troy Semenchuk was selected to work as an Umpire at the November 20 contest, a game that saw the Toronto Argonauts edge the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 24-23.

For Semenchuk, who hails from Prince Albert, Sask., it marked his first Grey Cup assignment in six seasons working CFL games.

“It was a wild and unbelievable event,” Semenchuk told Jon Keen of the WHL Radio Show recently.

“It sent shivers down my spine,” Semenchuk recalled of the moments leading up to kickoff. “The fans are hyped up, the players were fired up, ready to go, the crew is dialed in, focused, and can’t wait to kick the ball off.”

Learning two rule books, especially for sports as complex as hockey and football, certainly seems a tall task, but Semenchuk, who has served as a WHL Official for more than 150 games since the 2012-13 season, figures the intricacies of officiating translate from the field to the frozen pond.

“My time in the WHL has really prepared me for a lot of the challenges we face in football officating,” said Semenchuk.

“The ability to be a good communicator, the ability to recognize hot spots especially as a linesman in hockey, those officiating skills really cross over from one [sport] to the other.”

Being selected for a championship contest is a source of pride for officials like Semenchuk, a feather in the cap for a job well done throughout the season.

“Just like the players, officials want to be in the last game of the season, that’s always the goal at the start of the year,” Semenchuk noted.

“I really think its a reflection of so many people that have coached me, been patient and poured their time and energy to help me develop and improve,” he added.

And while Semenchuk says his officiating goals are to reach the highest level possible, that brisk Sunday evening at Mosaic Stadium definitely left him wanting more.

“Now that I’ve had a taste of the [Grey Cup] experience, it motivates me to work extra hard in the weight room and with the rule book, to get back to that Grey Cup game.”

Semenchuk played both hockey and football growing up, and in addition to his duties as a WHL and CFL Official has spent time coaching, and giving back.

“Both sports mean so much to me and have given me so much, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give the games back what they’ve given me,” Semenchuk said. “I’m just extremely grateful to be involved in both.”

“To be on the biggest game of the year is an experience I’ll treasure forever.”

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