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Old Thu Nov 09, 2006, 03:27pm
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Christian Schools Battle Over Kick

From Mercury News, San Jose, California

Two Christian schools in a schism over kick
WAS IT GOOD? PLUS BIGGER QUESTIONS
By David Kiefer
Mercury News

Two high schools whose existences are based on morals and convictions are being tested, with football as a backdrop.

Sacred Heart Prep, a Catholic school in Atherton, and The King's Academy, a non-denominational Christian school in Sunnyvale, are embroiled in a dispute over who is the true winner of their game Saturday night, which had a playoff spot and a league championship at stake.

At the center of the controversy is Sacred Heart Prep's last-minute field-goal try that was ruled, perhaps erroneously, as a miss. The call, with 21 seconds left, ensured The King's Academy's 29-28 victory and prevented Sacred Heart Prep from clinching first place in the Bay Football League and an automatic berth in the North Coast Section Class A playoffs.

It also sparked debate about honor.

``These are faith-based schools,'' Sacred Heart Prep assistant head coach Matt Moran said. ``They should do the right thing.''

But what is the right thing? For Sacred Heart Prep Coach Pete Lavorato, it means The King's Academy should rescind its victory.

For King's Academy Principal Bob Kellogg, it means no such thing.

Here's what happened with sophomore Matt Bocci's 29-yard attempt, as recorded by two Sacred Heart Prep videos and shown to a reporter:

The shot from behind the opposite end zone seems to show the ball passing behind the left upright on its way down from a kick angled from the right hash mark. The ball would have passed in front if the kick had missed.

A shot from midfield reveals that the official who made the call was near The King's Academy bench when the teams lined up and was running toward the goal post when the ball was kicked. Still 5 to 10 yards from the goal post when making the call, the official signaled without hesitation, while an observer can be seen falling backward in disbelief behind the end zone.
SHP players celebrated while dejected King's Academy players began to walk off the field, until the Knights noticed the official and began a celebration of their own.

``It didn't appear to be good,'' Lavorato said. ``It did go through. Our video shows it was absolutely, 100 percent good.''

Mark Risley, head of the Peninsula Sports Management company that supplied the officials, said Tuesday that he had not seen the video, but added that if the official was out of position, his organization takes full responsibility.
Risley would not release the official's name and does not allow his officials to comment about calls.

``It's a judgment call -- it's human,'' Risley said. ``A lot of people don't understand that in a situation like this, the kids that lost the game go home hurting, the coaches go home hurting, and the officials go home hurting if they have a tough call like this more than anybody else on the field.''
Lavorato hoped to meet with Knights Coach Ron Kellner and show him the video. He hoped Kellner would see the error and change the result, perhaps declaring a forfeit or a tie.

``It's up to them,'' Lavorato said. ``It comes down to, Why are we playing the game of football? The game of football is about teaching kids and making the right decisions.''

The challenge was viewed as inappropriate by Kellogg, who made it clear there would be no such discussion, especially with The King's Academy having to focus on stopping Salesian on Saturday. A King's loss might create a three-way tie for first, with the playoff berth coming down to a blind draw.

``Do you think it would be fair to our athletes that we say, `There's been a misunderstanding and we're going to take the game away from you?' '' Kellogg said. ``Maybe the call should've gone the other way. Or, just because we're a Christian school, we're going to go ahead and reverse the authority's decision.

``Does Sacred Heart think that would be an honorable thing to do? I don't. I think it would be a dishonor.''

The King's Academy (8-0, 4-0) rallied from a 28-7 third-quarter deficit, made a goal-line stand and used that as the impetus for a 99-yard drive that resulted in the winning points, on Sammy Sussman's pass to Jordan Martin on a fake point-after try with three minutes left.

``We refuse to take anything away from our kids,'' Kellogg said. ``They deserved to win this game.''

Sacred Heart Prep (4-5, 3-1) can still earn a share of first by beating winless St. Elizabeth of Oakland, but without the luck of the draw, a playoff berth seems unlikely.

``In our hearts we know we won that game,'' Lavorato said. ``We work hard, and they work hard, but I just want the winner to be the winner, that's all. We told the kids after the game that there is a lesson to be learned from this: that life isn't always fair.''

Though Sacred Heart is appealing the loss to the league, most likely that's the way it will stand.

``On a football field, once the final whistle is blown and teams walk off the field, it's over,'' Risley said. ``There's not a doggone thing you can do about it, no matter how conclusive the video is.''
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Old Thu Nov 09, 2006, 04:01pm
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Next step - video replay in high school. Good grief.
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Old Thu Nov 09, 2006, 04:49pm
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Question for Referees.

It might have been the team made a last minute decision to kick the field goal and ran their kicking team on. The covering official might not have recognized the situation as quickly as he should have and was busting it toward the endzone as the kick was made. Let's assume the 25 second clock was winding down and it was going to be close if they could get the kick off before it expired.

You have two choices: stop the clock and let your official get into position, possibly allowing the kicking team to avoid a delay of game penalty; or let the play go off and hope the official out of position gets the call right. Personally, I am hoping for one down the middle or a duck hook; maybe even a block.

What would you do?
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Old Thu Nov 09, 2006, 04:55pm
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My concern here is mechanics-The ball was snapped from the 12 and the linesman was out of position? He had a 32 yard run to his goal post, how did they set for a field goal and he did make it there in time? Bad communication with the refee not signalling that a tee was coming in.
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Old Thu Nov 09, 2006, 04:57pm
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No way would I stop play on a play like this. Linesman should have been anticipating, but if he didn't, any other official can help out. In my first year, I was running chains and at halftime the crew discussed their "alternate coverage" on a kick play, and it came into play in just such a situation. I don't remember the details, but basically if they didn't recognize kick quickly enough, the coverage shifted so that R or U (don't remember which) took the kick and HL took the kicker/holder.

Came away from that (and other discussions they had) realizing how truly prepared this crew was.
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Old Thu Nov 09, 2006, 04:58pm
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This is a tough call and I know it was discussed before. Either way is bad but I think letting the play go when the official is not in the right position is a mistake. I'd stop the clock and let the HL/LJ get in position. I know I'd be letting K get set but I'd do it. Now if there were only about 5 seconds or so on the clock, I couldn't stop the clock but with 29 seconds left, they should have.
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Old Thu Nov 09, 2006, 09:26pm
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Wish we had gone over this in the pregame.....

If it was a 5 man crew that normally works together, they should have the "who goes under the post" mechanic down by this point. If it was a lack of concentration or communication, that's on them.

I can't see stopping the clock when it's running under with 30 seconds left in a close game and A is running the kicking team out there.

The whole replay, who won? discussion is for the birds. I can understand the kids feeling cheated out of the win if you know that it was a made FG, but that's life - move on. There will probably be something down the road that is a big disappointment for you - you gonna get a do-over on that one?

I think it illustrates how everyone is willing to talk about honor and justice until their interests are placed in jeopardy - then their ideas of justice and honor get a little skewed.
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Old Thu Nov 09, 2006, 11:48pm
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Couple questions here.

1. Why is some sports management company assigning high school officials.

2. Are private schools not part of a state association in California?
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Old Fri Nov 10, 2006, 01:29am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parepat
Couple questions here.



2. Are private schools not part of a state association in California?
What do you mean?
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Old Fri Nov 10, 2006, 01:52am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parepat
Couple questions here.

1. Why is some sports management company assigning high school officials.
It is simply the name of the officials' association.
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Old Fri Nov 10, 2006, 08:38am
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Lightbulb

Interesting.

We had a FGA late in a V playoff game where the covering official (short side sideline official in 4-man crew) signalled wide. The ball sailed OOB (in Canada, the uprights are on the GL) so that same official then blew his whistle to signal a single point (rouge). Everyone knew it was good so when they saw him signal wide, then the rouge, many were saying it was good. The R happened to look up at the flight of the ball for a sec and saw it good. The U also looked up and knew it was good.

Point is, the crew got together and did decide that the attempt was good. They awarded the 3 points and of course, being a playoff game, the team that lost blamed the officials.

IMO, the whole thing was caused by a hole in the mechanics that the covering official properly followed. There was no way to cover both uprights with just one official.
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Old Fri Nov 10, 2006, 10:00am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ref inSoCA
What do you mean?
Thought it was a pretty simple question. Why is this "challenge" to change the outcome being directed at the opposing coach? Shouldn't the state be involved in putting an end to the back and forth. My question was whether the private schools are part of the same athletic association as the public schools. Where I live this matter would have been resolved in about two minutes with a statement like: "There is no mechanism to challange officials calls after the fact. As a result the outcome of the game stands." Note-this would not be the case in Georgia.
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Old Fri Nov 10, 2006, 10:49am
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Georgia changed their policy this year. They no longer consider protests.
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Old Fri Nov 10, 2006, 06:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parepat
Thought it was a pretty simple question. Why is this "challenge" to change the outcome being directed at the opposing coach? Shouldn't the state be involved in putting an end to the back and forth. My question was whether the private schools are part of the same athletic association as the public schools. Where I live this matter would have been resolved in about two minutes with a statement like: "There is no mechanism to challange officials calls after the fact. As a result the outcome of the game stands." Note-this would not be the case in Georgia.
Understand that there is no "state authority" in California. There are 10 sections to the CIF, each with semi-autonomous authority over how things go in their areas. Now then, we all operate under the same basic rules but there are variations. What rules regarding protests the Central Coast Section may have I don't know. However, upon reading the article, it's not even clear if this has gone anywhere beyond the 2 schools arguing over it. That may be just because the so-called "wronged" school knows there is no appeal process regarding judgement calls on the field. Until somebody actually goes to the Section, which the article mentions nothing about, there really isn't much for the Section admin to do, is there? Because at this point it's nothing but a lot of sour grapes in the paper.
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Old Fri Nov 10, 2006, 10:05pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parepat
Thought it was a pretty simple question. Why is this "challenge" to change the outcome being directed at the opposing coach? Shouldn't the state be involved in putting an end to the back and forth. My question was whether the private schools are part of the same athletic association as the public schools. Where I live this matter would have been resolved in about two minutes with a statement like: "There is no mechanism to challange officials calls after the fact. As a result the outcome of the game stands." Note-this would not be the case in Georgia.
I just wanted to make sure I knew what you meant. CA is different from any other state.

As Mike said above, CA is 10 seperate sections, each with its own officials groups and administration. My section covers 90 schools in 2 counties. Each county had its own officials asociation. We all have our own mechanics manual.

If it were to go beyond the 2 schools arguing it would fall to their section to decide.
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