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Encinal High Football Player Starts Bench-clearing Fight

Last Friday, an Encinal High School football player started a bench-clearing brawl in a game against Center High School. The news comes via an e-mail distributed to Encinal parents and signed by Sean McPhetridge, Interim Superintendent, Alameda Unified School District, Kirsten Zazo, Tracy Allegrotti, Amy Frey, Administration, Encinal High School, Micki Singer Athletic Director, Encinal High School and Ricky Rodriguez, Head Football Coach.

According to the e-mail, an Encinal player, not named, took a hard, but legal, hit on the field, and subsequently threw a punch out of anger.

Both teams’ benches cleared.

“Most players who ran onto the field knew they shouldn’t. But they were acting to protect their teammates, to defend their brothers, to restore order. Unfortunately, in the moment, some also crossed well over the line of a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) rules violation, becoming aggressors,” reads the e-mail.

Consequently, the Encinal High School administration and athletic department have decided that the Varsity football team will forfeit its next game, the Island Bowl.

Additionally, officials have decided that:

  • Active participants in the altercation will be disciplined by the school.
  • All players who left the bench will receive a minimum of a one game suspension, pursuant to CIF rules.
  • The school will endorse all other sanctions, penalties, and/or fines issued by the CIF.
  • All members of the Encinal High School Football Varsity team will participate in community service with local organizations focused upon violence prevention.
  • All proceeds of the gate from Friday night’s game will be given to the victims of Saturday night’s Alameda arson fires.

The Encinal High School Junior Varsity team will play the Alameda Hornets Junior Varsity team this Friday evening at Thompson Field.

4 comments to Encinal High Football Player Starts Bench-clearing Fight

  • The officials lost control of the game!!!! The Encinal player that threw the punch, did so only after the officials had repeatedly blown their whistles to signal that the play was over, and yet 4 to 5 players from the other team kept driving the Encinal player back and only stopped after they had slammed him to the ground. After the punch, which occurred near the other team’s bench, the other team’s bench first charged the field, followed by the Encinal team.
    This was not an isolated incident of a rogue punch. I was at the game, and to get the proper context, you need only review the game video to watch how the opposing team had repeatedly, and violently, thrown the Encinal players to the ground – not legal tackling techniques. This is not to say that Encinal had clean hands, but given the poor officiating, it was foreseeable that there was going to be a problem at some point!!

    Now, the community loses one of its biggest social events of the year, the students lose their big game
    ( AHS more so ), ALL the players have become tarnished ( at least Encinal’s, and I have no idea what will happen up at Center HS ), but what consequences do the game officials and the league officals suffer for their part in all of this? The officials are there to control a game that is both emotional and violent – and they failed miserably.

  • Brian

    I was at the game and I have a completely different version of what transpired at the game than Stephen’s.

    Several Encinal players displayed unsportsmanlike behavior toward the Center players throughout the game. The incident that triggered the bench clearing brawl was at the center of the field, not near the Center bench. It was the Encinal bench that charged onto the field first, not Center’s. Several Center players were being beaten by several Encinal players, before Center players began charging the field to defend their teammates. At least two Center players had their helmets removed and were getting hit hard by Encinal players.

    After the officials got control of the game, three Center players were on the field hurt. It looked like one Center coach was knocked down to the ground trying to stop players from fighting. Only five or six Encinal players remained on the sidelines during the melee. The incident that triggered the melee involved only two players, the Encinal player who had the ball and the Center defensive back who was trying to tackle the Encinal ball carrier. The Encinal ball carrier was in the grasp of the Center defender and would not go down.

    The Center defender threw him down hard to bring him down, not four or five players. The official was right there and the whistle was not blown since the offensive player was upright and still trying to advance the ball. It was a clean and legal hit. I was sitting on the Encinal side and observed the Encinal players rush onto the field immediately after the Encinal ball carrier started the fight.

    I made it a point to look at the Center bench and noticed their restraint until they seen Center players being beaten by several players at a time (one Center player fighting against 2-3 Encinal players). At that point, the Center players rushed onto the field. It was an ugly and embarrassing incident triggered and escalated by the Encinal players. The unsportsmanlike behavior displayed by the Encinal players is not typical of football played in Alameda. High school football in Alameda usually displays sportsmanship and good competitive play.

  • I have people telling me that the officials did a poor job and allowed the game to degenerate, contributing to the escalation.

  • mae

    Not true you need to see the films all of it and the officials need to take some blame in it. They are blaming the students to cover their asses.

  • ALAMEDA FIRE: Live fire training at AFD Training Center (Alameda Point) today, 9 am - 12 pm, and tomorrow, 9 am - 4… ,
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