CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Keith and Scott DeVault have a family bond deepened by stripes and whistles.
The father-son duo from Morgantown are referees working the girls basketball state tournament. And for the first time, the DeVaults officiated a state championship game together.
Keith has been officiating for more than three decades, almost as long as Scott has been alive.
“Let’s see … (Dad’s) been doing it for 34 years now and I’ve been watching him since I was a little kid. I went to all his games all over the place,” Scott remembered. “I grew up watching it.”
Keith DeVault said he always thought his son might take up the family trade.
“He followed dad. He used to go on all the road trips with me and got to meet some of the officials. He wanted to follow in dad’s footstep,” the elder DeVault said proudly.
Scott has been officiating for 11 years now. Both have worked high school and Division I college games.
Keith said he has enjoyed a lengthy career, which included officiating the 1984 WVU/University of Charleston matchup where the Mountaineers’ Georgeann Wells became the first woman to register a dunk in NCAA history.
However, this week offers a new highlight as he and Scott work together for the first time at a state tournament game.
It’s a source of pride for both father and son.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said Scott.
Actually three times in a lifetime. The pair officiated a game during Wednesday’s quarterfinal round. They’ll do it again Thursday and referee together for the semifinals on Friday, when their whole family will be on hand to watch.
Depending on how the tournament goes, there’s a chance they could officiate together during one of the championship games Saturday.