After visiting the Cathedral City High School football practice Wednesday, there was a collective disappointment in the CIF ruling that has forced Palm Desert forfeit its scheduled Desert Valley League opener against the Lions.
Here’s a team that has to suffer the consequences for the previous Friday night actions between the Aztecs and San Bernardino that ended late in the fourth quarter following a benches-clearing brawl.
Everyone was not involved, as shown in a fan’s videotape, but the CIF called for the rule book and mandatory forfeits were handed down to both schools.
Was Cathedral City surprised? Shocked and disappointed is more like it.
Players said they were “shocked” that the penalty was that harsh because most of the team saw the video that had some Aztecs — and maybe enough to still field a team — remaining on the sidelines.
They all agreed, however, that the altercation was not the “correct” thing to do, but were in agreement “it was the common sense thing to do.”
Last year Cathedral City also earned a victory via forfeit against Paloma Valley due to an ineligible player.
The Lions agreed that since this is now DVL season, “it’s different this time.”
Here’s what some of the seniors had to say:
“We were coming in strong with good momentum (after beating Twentynine Palms 3-2) and playing them (Palm Desert) for the last time as a senior we were looking forward to it, win or lose,” said Jorge Vega. “It’s a real shame because we wanted to play them. It’s a real shame for them, too. We didn’t earn this win. It was given to us. We can’t be saying we beat Palm Desert. ”
Brandon Jones added: “We heard about the fight and didn’t think nothing of it. We figured we were going to play. We went to practice, hard, ready to go Monday and then coach told us we might not be playing. That really lowered the momentum. Without any game on Friday night now we’re just practicing getting ready for Indio next Friday night.”
Abraham Nieto just wanted a chance to play.
”As a senior you don’t want to take any game off,” he said. “You want to be out there playing every game. I was shocked when I heard we couldn’t play. We know we’re still gonna have to practice hard, but some kids don’t have the same state of mind. It’s just not the same. We didn’t have a bye week and unfortunately this is our bye week.”