ESCONDIDO, Calif. — The Orange Glen High School Patriots football team are stunned with the revelation their championship season has been forfeited because of a technicality.
While at a team dinner celebrating their first league championship in 28 years, they got the sudden news.
“The coach showed up and got a call and told us and the room got silent. We took a minute to process it and then it just really hurt,” said Todd Riddle, a defensive tackle for the team.
Their banners were taken down from the school auditorium. One students’ grades dropped below eligibility, and players and parents say the athletic director cleared the player anyway.
“It sucks to be around people who you use to look up to as adults,” said Riddle.
Now the seniors will never get to have a last game. Their title was also unceremoniously stripped along with their shot at a CIF championship.
Now parents are calling on the district to fire the athletics director of Orange Glen.
“How are you protecting the athlete, when you rip their championship, latterly rip it from the rafters,” said Brandon Washington, a former coach and the father of an Orange Glen quarterback.
The heartbroken team suffered through broken bones, torn ACLs and shattered knees to get the chance to play in the playoffs.
Parents say they are worried the football program is too messy to dedicate their time to.
Nonetheless, the student athletes say their time on the field has been unforgettable.
We reached out to CIF officials and the athletic director, but neither returned our calls.