Two more local high school football teams have been rocked by suspensions stemming from a brawl they participated in last Friday night.
On Wednesday, the Diamond Bar and Diamond Ranch football teams were handed down heavy suspensions by the CIF-Southern Section. On Thursday, Pomona and Wilson got theirs.
Pomona had one player ejected from the game on-site by the officiating crew for fighting and/or assaultive behavior. After reviewing the film, another player was also considered ejected. Then, 13 players were considered ejected after CIF concluded via video of the game that they left the team’s bench area to participate.
For Pomona, it’s a total tally of 15 players who will be suspended for one game, which is Friday’s Valle Vista League showdown against Baldwin Park. The Red Devils are 7-0 and bidding for the Valle Vista League championship. Baldwin Park is 6-1 and also has league title and playoff aspirations.
Wilson saw 20 players given one-game suspensions by the Southern Section, 17 of which were determined to have left the bench area to participate in the melee.
There is now concern that the Wildcats won’t be able to field a team to compete in Saturday’s game against Northview. If Wilson can’t, they will be forced to forfeit. Wilson is currently 1-7.
According to NFHS rules, any player who leaves the confines of his/her team’s bench area to participate in a brawl is subject to an automatic one-game suspension to be served during the team’s following game.
Earlier this week, Pomona took unilateral action by suspending 12 players. But once CIF got involved in the incident and conducted its own investigation using reports from both schools, video footage of the game and interviews from game officials, the number of Red Devils penalized went way up.
“We studied the tape and reviewed it probably 20 or 30 times,” Pomona principal Roger Fasting said on Tuesday. “Any student-athlete who entered the playing field and was not part of the play is being suspended for a game.
“We wanted to send the message loud and clear, and we all agreed it was the right thing to do. Definitely, it’s an unfortunate situation, but the bigger picture is that the football season will last for another one or two months and this is a learning moment for everybody.”