Marcia Cotton Makes History As First Woman High School Varsity Football Referee In Louisiana - Newsonyx

Marcia Cotton Makes History As First Woman High School Varsity Football Referee In Louisiana

Cotton is LHSAA's first woman to lead a varsity crew.

Marcia Cotton made history as the first woman to referee a high school varsity football game in Baton Rouge, La., on Nov. 4.

Cotton is the first woman in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s (LHSAA) history to ref various games.


Cotton said that her sister, an assistant coach at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, was her inspiration to become a referee back in 2016.

“It started with me assisting my sister with coaching,” Cotton said.

“She’s the assistant coach at Southern University here in Baton Rouge. When she was in high school at Wossman, I started assisting her and fell in love with the game. After my four years of college basketball, I wanted to stay around the sport.”

However, she soon became attracted to football and is now a referee for the sport. “It was something about that gridiron that just kept drawing me in,” Cotton said.

The referee had no idea she was making history until the game. Cotton was honored and now hopes to inspire other women who love football to become referees.

“It’s great to know that because I think it should serve as an inspiration to a lot of people that, you know, this is a sport, and if you love sport, then officiating is a way for you to stay around the sport and still love it,” said Cotton. “If there are girls or women out there that want to stay around sport and stay around it for a long time, this is the thing to do.”

Reporter Perry Robinson spoke with Cotton about the game and posted a video of the interview on Twitter with a caption noting the historical moment.

“HISTORY ON THE GRIDIRON: Baton Rouge native Marcia Cotton became the first woman in LHSAA history to lead an officiating crew in a varsity football game. Cotton shared her feelings with me about the groundbreaking moment. @WAFB@WAFB9Sports.”

The Louisiana High School Coaches Association congratulated Cotton with a Twitter post.

“Congrats to Marcia Cotton, the first female to serve as referee (white hat) in a high school football game in Louisiana. Marcia also served on a state final crew 2 years ago in the Dome. Great job paving a pathway for others.”

Cotton said she could referee for college or professional football games as well, and we don’t see why not.

Congratulations, Sis!

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