An Embarassing Moment in High School Sports
You might have heard about a high school football game that got some national attention last week. A team from Texas defeated another team from Texas by the final score of 93-0. The game got some extra attention because a parent on the wrong end of that 93-0 score filed bullying charges against the coach of the winning team. The case was thrown out.
It was an original way to complain about a score like that, the kind of score you see almost every year in a wide range of high school sports.
I am not going to go into the major details about the game, besides saying from the outside looking in, the score stinks.
When I see an out of ordinary score like that in any sport, I usually think, thank goodness we don’t have coaches in this part of the world that do that.
It turns out I was wrong about that.
If I was the commissioner of the NCL I and had that power, or the athletic director of Middletown High School, where I think I would, the Girls Soccer Head Coach Louise Owens would be suspended at least one game.
First a background which led up to the reason for this decision.
The Middletown Girls soccer program is one of the best in the area. They went into the season with five straight NCL I championships. Last year they went 21-0-1 and won its first ever North Coast Section championship.
They have the one of the best players in the area in senior Hannah Diaz, who will probably be named NCL I player of the year for the fourth straight season and according to reports will be playing Division 1 soccer at St. Mary’s.
In her first three seasons Middletown has a record of 53-6-3.
This season they are 16-2 and it looked like they might have their league championship streak snapped. One loss was to Sonoma Academy the second game of the season 4-2. Sonoma Academy looks like it will be the No. 1 seed in the NCS Division III Girls playoffs.
That was a non-league game, but on September 24th Cloverdale defeated Middletown for the first time in school history 4-2. Nearly a month later in the second game, it looked like the Eagles were going to end Middletown’s league championship streak and win its first NCL I championship ever when they took a 2-0 halftime lead. Middletown made a dramatic rally with Kaleigh Alves scoring three goals to take a 3-2 win and move into a first place tie with two games to go.
Both teams won the first game to remain tied, which brings us to last Thursday with Cloverdale hosting St. Helena and Middletown hosting Lower Lake in the league finale. Cloverdale won its game 5-1.
What Middletown did was disgraceful.
Lower Lake went into the game 1-13 overall and 0-13 in NCL I play. Not all of their games are posted at Max Preps, but eight of them are and in those eight games they were outscored 63-1. Ironically the only goal they scored was in the first meeting which Middletown won 11-1, so it was a forgone conclusion that Middletown was going to win the game.
Did they ever. By a score of 17-0.
I say it again; Middletown won the game 17-0.
Think about that for a second. Anytime you see a soccer score between two good teams, goals are few and far between.
Soccer is one of the toughest sports to score in and it is the easiest sport not to score in.
Middletown won the game 17-0.
Maybe you have some crazy thought that Middletown pulled back or it would have been real embarrassing. Not sure how you could think that with that score, but you would be wrong.
As far as I’m concerned, Diaz who was playing her last home regular season game, has a black mark on her legacy. Diaz scored ten goals and get this, six of them were scored in the second half.
You have to hand it to the Middletown coaching staff for not taking anything for granted I say tongue firmly in cheek.
I wouldn’t have blamed the Lower Lake team for walking off the field.
I wouldn’t have blamed the officials if they stopped the game.
It an article in the Record Bee, which is a Lake County newspaper, Owens is quoted as saying, “We played smart and got through it without any injuries. That was our goal.”
Bull. There was a different agenda. It might have been that Diaz broke her own record for most goals in a season.
I would hope the agenda wasn’t to embarrass the Lower Lake team. I doubt that, but you never know. Maybe there is something personal between the two programs.
When Barry Bonds broke the home run record there were cries that an asterisk should be put by it because of the steroid thing.
This record should have a black line put through it.
As for the injury concerns, the chances went up. You never know what an embarrassed teenager is capable of and someone could have taken their embarrassment out on one of Middletown’s players.
There is a potential for the kind of embarrassing score almost weekly and most sensible coaches fight that temptation.
On Saturday, Calistoga defeated Upper Lake 63-6. You could see that score coming and if you think they ran that score up, consider that the halftime score was 63-0 and the last touchdown was an interception return.
Maybe Owens should get a lesson how to win one sided games with class from Analy’s Head Coach Dan Bourdon and its staff, who reluctantly has become an expert on the subject. The Tigers have won six straight and in any one of those games they could have made headlines for the wrong reason.
Analy won the games by an average of 53-6, with the closest being 44-14. Even with how bad that sounds, those scores could have been worse. In the second half of those games they combined to outscore opponents 47-26, which is an average of 8-4 each game. That means the average halftime score was 45-2.
In those games, they scored twice in the second half in two games. One game they returned an interception for touchdown number two. In the other game they “only” had a 30-0 lead at the half. Bourdon remembered a game as an assistant when a lead like that slipped away, so they scored two third quarter touchdowns and didn’t score again.
It is obvious that Bourdon and the Analy staff have respect for the game and the kids that play the game.
As for Diaz, she does get a little pass since she is a teenager. Some might have thought, “What are we doing?” and try to put an end to the nonsense. But many teenagers are led into doing something by adults that aren’t the smartest things. I hope her parents pulled her aside after the fact and said that was wrong and embarrassing.
We have talked about one-sided scores before here. Most sports have rules which help the coach from being a complete fool.
In football and basketball it’s the running clock, in baseball and softball the ten run rule. Some soccer tournaments have a seven goal limit and if the team scores more than that they get a forfeit. Maybe soccer should have a ten goal rule.
The coach and staff have a responsibility to not only the players on their team, but to the game and the other team. Middletown coaches must have not gotten the memo.
Hopefully they have it now.
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