• Privately Funded $2.5M Sports Facility Gets Backing

    by Lauren Stephenson September 2015

    The Oakwood Athletic Boosters Association has raised about $1.7 million toward the $2.5 million needed to build a privately-funded athletic facility to be used primarily for field hockey, lacrosse, soccer and track and field.

  • Ohio Lawmakers Consider Prep Pay-to-Play Fees Ban

    by Jim Siegel September 2015

    In his 22 years as a head high school football coach in Ohio, state Sen. Cliff Hite's athletes never were required to pay a fee just to join the team. But he saw what happened when a rival did that. "There were a lot of young kids in Marion (Harding) that couldn't play football anymore," the Findlay Republican said. "As the opponent, you sit there and go, 'Maybe that's going to be an easy win, but is that what we're here for?' I think we should give every kid that opportunity."

  • After Delays, High School Arena to Open in 2016

    by Meg Scarbrough September 2015

    Cleveland education officials say that, after a series of delays, construction of Raider Arena -- Cleveland High School's new gymnasium -- now is projected to be wrapped up by the first week of March 2016.

  • Saddleback College Stadium Will Host Prep Games, Too

    by bob Keisser, The Orange County Register September 2015

    When Saddleback College puts a shovel into dirt in late 2016 and launches construction of a new football stadium on campus, it will not be an effort just for the school. It will be a benefit for all of south Orange County, still the fastest growing part of the county. The new stadium will be used by the Gauchos' football, soccer, and track and field teams and will provide area high schools with a fresher, bigger home venue for their games. The original structure seats 4,500, with rented visiting bleachers, and the bathrooms are located outside the facility. The new stadium will seat 8,000 with two football practice fields and a soccer field with seating adjacent.

  • Principal Apologizes for Alleged Sports Cream Incident

    by Aram Tolegian September 2015

    Salesian High School principal Alex Chacon phoned La Canada principal Ian McFeat on Friday morning to apologize for a Sept. 4 incident that took place in the schools' varsity football game, during which La Canada contends a Salesian player smeared some type of sports cream in the face of Spartans safety Angel Salazar.

  • Parents Split on Tactics that Led to Drug Suspension

    by Eric Russell September 2015

    South Portland High School football players endured a marathon meeting Thursday, in lieu of practice, during which they were grilled one at a time about suspected drug use among team members. Some parents were upset about the tactic; others support the approach. A member of the South Portland High School football team was suspended from school Friday for what Superintendent Ken Kunin described as a hazing incident.

  • Players on National TV: Coach Ordered Hit on Referee

    by Jason Scott September 2015

    This morning on “Good Morning America,” Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas, the high school football players who blindsided a referee during a game earlier this month, said they were following instructions from their coach.

  • Blog: No Dirty-Play Epidemic in High School Football

    by Jason Scott September 2015

    Earlier this week, we shared another story about a high school football player making another ugly play on the field.

    This time, the play was at least directed at an opponent, unlike the premeditated hit on a referee that made headlines earlier this month. There was also a less-publicized story about a player shoving a referee as a reaction to a call.

    So what’s going on? Is there a culture problem in football? Are coaches skipping the part where they instill values? Are players out of control? Is there something in the water?

    The likely answer: Probably not. Any of these might be a root cause for these incidents, or any random occurrence might have triggered them. The players involved in the hit on the referee alleged the ref had used racial slurs.

    Whatever the motivation, this sort of thing has been going on for a long time — just with less media attention.

    In today’s Internet culture, things can get noticed more quickly. The premeditated hit on the referee was just sensational enough to make us as observers perk up our ears. As new cases pop up that look and smell similar, we’re trying to connect the dots, looking for larger trends where perhaps none exist. 

    That’s not to say that we should do nothing to keep incidents like this from happening. We absolutely should.

    What we should not do is panic. We don’t have to turn into football Chicken Littles. The sky is not falling.

    For every instance of dirty play, the kind that grab headlines and leave us shaking our heads, there are many more examples of sportsmanship. Those things don’t get headlines, because the culture considers them boring.

    Football idealists might look at the dirty plays recently and question their worldview. If participation in athletics is supposed to instill young people with values, how could this be happening?

    That’s a question worth asking. We should look at some of the dirty play recently and double our efforts to teach sportsmanship to our young athletes. But let’s not freak out to the degree of questioning the value of sports participation in general.

    Don’t let a few outliers ruin your enjoyment of the game. 

  • HS Stadium Debut Draw Expected to Exceed Population

    by Beatriz Alvarado September 2015

    The wooden box seats on concrete slabs reserved for Bella Blanton’s family for more than 40 years were comfortable, she said. Kind of. The Freer High School English teacher’s football season passes granted her six years of front-row access to each of her children’s athletic competitions. Both her sons were Buckaroos — jersey Nos. 55 and 63 — and her daughter was a cheerleader.

  • School Lacking Varsity Team Getting New Turf, Lights

    by Dave Dahl September 2015

    Eden High School didn't have enough players to field a varsity football team this year, but the district's School Board has taken another step toward a $22.15 million capital project that includes an artificial turf field and lights for night games.