When Barry Mihilewicz took a football officials course from Ron Walsh in the early 1980s, a chord was struck for Barry that has turned into a life long passion to don the stripes on the grid iron. Barry has shared this passion to help form the Prince Albert Football Officials Association which is crucial to the growth of the sport in Prince Albert and area.
Barry has officiated games at the Kinsmen, 6 man, 9 man and 12 man levels ever since. Around 2005 the sport of football saw resurgence in the area, with St. Mary and PACI reviving their programs. Mihilewicz, along with Ken Belyea and Danny Nickel formed PAFOA anticipating the need for more officials. Barry was the president, treasurer and assignor of the association and helped attract officials, many whom had previously retired from refereeing the game.
Knowing the importance quality officiating is to the integrity of the sport, Barry has mentored and encouraged many to take their Levels 1, 2 and 3. This allows officials to work games right up to the CIS University level.
An indication of the success of Barry’s work to develop quality officials is that the Saskatoon High School Football league no longer sends officials from Saskatoon to work games in Prince Albert, allowing all-PAFOA crews to work the games.
With increased interest in surrounding communities and specifically in the north, Mihilewicz has travelled to many communities to work with not only officials, but also coaches and players to help them better understand the rules of the sport to add to their enjoyment of football.
In 2010 Mihilewicz was recognized by the Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association with an Officials Service Award.