The California high school football season has been over since mid-December, but Northern California has a new Division 1-A football champion.
That’s all been necessitated by a ruling brought down against Del Oro High School, the 2018 champion which has now had to forfeit its title for the use of an ineligible player. As reported by Sacramento CBS affiliate KOVR, Del Oro was found to have used an ineligible player during the late stages of a 36-7 win over Tracy on Nov. 9.
While the game was well out of hand by the time the unnamed JV transfer entered, his mere involvement in the game was enough to render it a forfeit, as well as all the contests that followed. Those changes invalidate Del Oro’s title and instead send the crown to Saint Francis School (Mountain Vista, Calif.), which Del Oro edged out, 14-13, in the NorCal championship.
Jeff Walters, the Del Oro head football coach, told players and parents in a letter that the mistake in the fielding the player was due to a pure clerical error, indicating that the coaching staff had no more idea about it than anyone else.
That may well be true, but it won’t bring back Del Oro’s Northern California title, no matter how small a role the ineligible athlete may have played in it.