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49ers-Chargers to feature ‘tryout’ referee with Ed Hochuli

The San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers close out the preseason Thursday night, and they will feature an interesting “tryout” going on. Ed Hochuli is the lead referee for the game, but Alex Kemp is getting a chance to work as the lead referee. He is one of the three NFL officials getting a chance to try out the lead referee duties.

Kemp, son of former NFL official Stan Kemp, joined the NFL in 2014, after serving several seasons in college football. He was a side judge in the 2011 BCS title game. In 2014, he served as an NFL field judge, and last season he was a side judge on Jeff Triplette’s crew.

We have a weekly rundown of refs during the regular season, but normally don’t pay much attention in the preseason. However, with this tryout, and in light of the particular game, I thought it was notable. Fans will be plenty fired up in San Diego, as their annual “Salute to the Military” event falls in Colin Kaepernick’s first game since people became aware of his decision to sit during the National Anthem. I don’t expect anything crazy, particularly on the field, but given the unique nature of this, who knows what it might bring. Fingers crossed it’s just a normal, boring preseason game.