A football game in Sutter Creek was canceled shortly before kickoff Friday by the Amador High School administration after the discovery of an allegedly inappropriate social media chat among its football players.
The game against Rosemont High of Sacramento was forfeited shortly before the 7:30 pm kickoff. The fallout for Amador includes the varsity program being placed on suspension Monday, pending an investigation by the Amador County Unified School District.
Amador players cannot practice and the team will not play any games for the perhapseable future, but students can still attend classes at the Sutter Creek school. Amador County Unified School District Superintendent Torie Gibson issued a statement to Amador parents calling the chat “disturbing.” The district shared the statement with The Bee. Three Amador staff members were placed on administrative leave.
The statement read, “The District is aware of the chat thread associated with the Amador Varsity Football Program. The nature of the thread was disturbing, and its content was not in line with the values that we instill in our schools or expect from our student athletes. We ask that the community allow us to go through the full investigative process. Minor students are involved and we wish to keep their right to confidentiality a priority. “
The chat allegedly violates the school and district policy, which is displayed on the Amador High website. Under the headline, “Philosophy of Student Athletes,” it reads, in part: “We expect the athletes to develop a personal code of conduct consistent with the time-honored values of sportsmanship, scholarship, integrity, commitment, and respect. Furthermore, as a result of participation in organized team sports, we believe our students should strive to become advocates for, and representatives of, our school and community. “
The regional governing body for high school sports, the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section, said it supports its member schools in regard to team suspensions and accountability.
“We expect our schools and the kids representing those schools to behave the right way,” said Will DeBoard, the section assistant commissioner. “Our motto is, ‘Pursuing victory with honor.’ I don’t know what’s happened in some of these situations, but the schools discovered something that was not good for their mission as well, and it sounds like they’re doing something about it. “
Bradshaw Christian High School of Sacramento forfeited its junior varsity and varsity football games against visiting East Nicolaus on Sept. 9 because of “inappropriate” dialogue, according to Pride athletic director Alex Williams. No players were suspended, and one Bradshaw Christian official stressed that the dialogue wasn’t “anything like Amador.”
Emails sent Tuesday to Amador principal Holly Rocha and football coach Matt Kantack bounced back as “undeliverable.”
A Division V program with an enrollment of 653, Amador is 0-4 this season and has a game scheduled Sept. 30 at Summerville in a Mother Lode League opener. Amador went 0-10 in 2021. The school produced its finest seasons in recent years. Amador went 14-2 and reached the state 6-AA championship game in 2016 under coach Bill Barker. The Buffaloes went 10-2 in 2019 under Barker.
Rosemont coach John Straw said his team was disappointed in not having a game last week, but more so at the reason why it was forfeited.
“Great group of kids here having their will tested daily,” he said. “The team is in good spirits.”
This story was originally published September 20, 2022 12:33 PM.