Some will argue that forfeiting a season opener was too steep a price for Terra Nova to pay for engaging in a fight at a scrimmage.
But those are real-world ramifications for doing something against the rules, no matter which side started the altercation.
The problem is that the other side, Moreau Catholic, got to play Friday night.
So did Clayton Valley Charter and Amador Valley, which engaged in what was described as a “massive brawl” in their scrimmage the same weekend.
Those schools sidestepped Terra Nova’s fate because the North Coast Section and Central Coast Section have differing views about scrimmages.
The CCS, the governing body of schools that include Terra Nova, views scrimmages just as it does game. All rules, from the National Federation on down, apply.
The NCS, of which Moreau, Clayton Valley and Amador Valley are a part of, does not view scrimmages the same as it does games.
Therefore, its rules with regards to ejections, suspensions and forfeitures do not apply.
That’s where the problem exists.
Given that intersectional competition has become far more common in this era of state championships, the California Interscholastic Federation — which oversees the 10 sections throughout the state — needs one set of rules for all.
Without it, the inequities that unfolded Friday are bound to arise again.
For those keeping score, the three schools that played — Clayton Valley, Amador Valley and Moreau — all lost.
NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon, in an email Friday, said his section’s member schools considered including scrimmages in its ejection policy but opted not to because some scrimmages don’t have game officials and some have game officials in training.
Still, his office did not turn a blind eye.
“NCS staff have been in contact with Moreau Catholic, Clayton Valley and Amador Valley High Schools over recent incidents, reviewing with the schools the importance of close oversight of student behavior and expectation of sportsmanship guidelines,” Lemmon added.
CCS commissioner Duane Morgan applauded Terra Nova principal Megan Carey’s decision to forfeit her school’s opening game Friday against Gunderson.
“She made her decision based on she was at the game,” Morgan said. “She saw what went on. She, bottom line, stood up and did the appropriate thing and forfeited the game for this week.”
Sportsmanship on display
It was an emotional start to the season at Menlo Atherton, which in a pregame ceremony retired the No. 60 jersey worn by Aisea Mataele, a 14-year-old freshman who became mysteriously ill last December and died at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.
Both Menlo-Atherton and Bellarmine College Prep stood in a moment of silence during the ceremony, which included Mataele’s parents and siblings.
“Aisea excelled as both a student and an athlete,” the public-address announcer said. “He was loved by all who knew him.”
M-A coach Adhir Ravipati, in an address to the crowd, said, “Aisea is always with us, and we’re playing for that angel tonight and for the rest of the season and as long as M-A football is around. We’ll be playing for No. 60.”
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