The Sacramento High Dragons rolled three football opponents 149-21 on the field early this season, but a paperwork oversight has resulted in forfeits and, suddenly, there is new urgency to a season of great promise for The Bee’s No. 4-ranked team.
A seldom-used player was ruled ineligible by the Sac-Joaquin Section office for competing in three games before the 30-day sit-out period mandated for transfer students expired.
The student transferred to Sacramento in January and was cleared to play basketball, but his immediate football eligibility was overlooked when Jim Scheible took over as the school’s athletic director in June. The student was cleared for basketball because he did not play that sport the previous academic year, unlike football. Such transfer guidelines can be confusing, but Scheible said that is no excuse for the Dragons’ oversight.
“I took care of business from June on, but I missed that one,” Scheible said Monday. “Ultimately, (the oversight) is my fault, and I took ownership of it. We have to follow rules. We hold ourselves accountable. Rules are there for a reason.
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“But it was odd to tell ADs that they won a game they lost on the field.”
The forfeits erased nonleague wins over Mitty of San Jose (47-21) and Vanden (37-0), and a Metropolitan Conference victory over Florin (65-0). The Dragons go from 6-1 on the field to 3-4 overall. The on-field loss was a 28-19 setback to Folsom, The Bee’s top-ranked team.
Sacramento’s regular season concludes with Johnson and unbeaten Metro teams Burbank and McClatchy, and the quest to win the championship and secure a high Division II playoff seed remains. Sacramento appealed the forfeits but was denied Friday. Scheible informed the team after Friday’s 62-0 win over Laguna Creek.
A Sacramento opponent discovered the ineligible player and reported it to the section office.
“This is not how we want Sacramento High School to be represented,” Scheible said of any image of a school that doesn’t adhere to rules. “We should have found it first. If we don’t police ourselves first, someone else will. I think this will light a fire under the kids and they’ll finish strong.”
Pacers unranked – Grant falls out of The Bee’s rankings for the first time since the opening week of the 1991 season. That’s 269 weeks of ranked living that includes 18 league championships, seven section titles and the 2008 CIF State Open Division crown.
The Pacers are 3-4 and 1-3 in the Delta League, and they may need to run the table against Sheldon, Davis and Jesuit to extend their ongoing section record of consecutive playoff seasons to 27. The Delta League advanced six teams to the postseason last year.
Trail stoppers – Monterey Trail jumped back into the rankings at No. 17 after beating Grant 26-14 in Del Paso Heights, and the coaches hailed the efforts of defensive stoppers. Antonio Williams had 12 tackles and Marcus Jones 10.
Aztlan Lopez scored two touchdowns, made 11 tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles.
Hurt toll – The list of injured star players grows. It started in early September when Capital Christian running back Christian Simmons went down with a broken leg, and it stretched into recent weeks, when Jesuit fullback Lorenzo Burkes was sidelined with a torn ACL, followed by strained knee ligaments by Elk Grove quarterback Jake Jordan, likely sidelining him for the rest of the season.
Jesuit has lost four players for the season with knee injuries after losing three over the previous 35 years for the same sort of injuries.
Said Jesuit coach Marlon Blanton, “Fluke things, fluke injuries. I’ve never seen this many injuries in all my years of coaching, and I’m 20 years in. I feel for those kids.”
No one team hurts more than 1-6 Roseville, however. Ten players have been lost for the season with injuries – knees, legs, ankles and elbows.
Streak enders – Valley Christian Academy of Roseville ended a 12-game losing streak by beating Foresthill 42-24 on Friday.
Drake Williams rushed for 226 yards on 32 carries and scored three touchdowns and on three two-point conversions before playing sparingly in the second half. On defense, the linebacker had six solo tackles.