When the lights go on Friday night around the Bay Area for the start of the high school football season, Terra Nova’s will remain dark.
The Pacifica school has forfeited its season opener against Gunderson because of a fight last week in a scrimmage against Moreau Catholic.
Principal Megan Carey made the decision after meeting with Central Coast Section commissioner Duane Morgan and Peninsula Athletic League commissioner Terry Stogner, Morgan said Friday.
The fight is one of two that have come to light among Bay Area schools last weekend. The other occurred in scrimmage between Clayton Valley Charter and Amador Valley.
Moreau, Clayton Valley and Amador Valley are in the North Coast Section.
When asked this week if his section was looking into the Clayton Valley and Amador Valley fight, NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon said he was aware of the altercation — which Prep2Prep’s Nate Smith described on Twitter as a “massive brawl” — and planned to email the schools.
But, Lemmon added, “neither school is subject to the NCS Ejection Policy for a scrimmage.”
The CCS has different rules.
“In CCS, scrimmages and games and everything encompassed is included as a contact for us — all rules have to apply,” Morgan said. “Sportsmanship in this case.”
According to Morgan, it’s a national federation rule that if a player leaves the bench to engage in a fight, the team receives a 15-yard penalty and the player is ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.
If a player is ejected, it’s a CCS rule that the player must sit out the next game, Morgan added.
Morgan and Stogner laid out the options for Carey in a lengthy meeting with the principal Tuesday.
What a joke. A Moreau Catholic player kicks a player then another comes off sideline and blindsides a TN player,
— Ryan Gordon (@rgordon12) August 25, 2017
“You don’t want to hurt the other schools,” Morgan said. “She made her decision based on she was at the game. She saw what went on. She, bottom line, stood up and did the appropriate thing and forfeited the game for this week. The whole team left the bench, apparently.
“Every section has a little bit different nuance. Our board says whenever you are going to compete against another team, you have to follow the rules.”
Lemmon, in an email Friday, said, “NCS does not count scrimmages in the policy. This was discussed last year when NCS member school considered including scrimmages. Member school voted to not include a scrimmage. The rationale, as I recall, was that not all schools use officials at a scrimmage, and when officials are included many times the scrimmage is a teaching tool for the officials.
“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.”
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