Midgame Skirmish Taints Muir Football’s NorCal Road Trip

The Muir football team confides with its coaching staff after their brawl with Stellar Prep on Friday. – Courtesy photo / Twitter, @JohnMuirHS

By Aaron Valdez

A night that was supposed to feature good sportsmanship and competitive spirit ended on a “sour note” as a fight broke out in the third quarter of John Muir High football’s game against Stellar Prep on Friday.

This was a special occasion for the Muir Mustangs as it required them to take trip to Oakland, where Stellar Prep is located, in hopes of strengthening their team chemistry. The Mustangs were coming off a nice win against Charter Oak two weeks ago and were looking to shake off the rust after having a bye last week.

It seemed Muir was well on their way to its second win of the season as they led Stellar Prep 29-6 in the third quarter. However, the two teams suddenly engaged in an altercation that spiraled out of control, prompting the officials to end the game early.

The game’s outcome and Muir’s fate were immediately in question following the brawl but after review, CIF-SS decided Wednesday afternoon that Muir was to be awarded with the win due to rules established by The Nation Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

However, the team will also have 10 players suspended for their next game at home against Rancho Christian on Thursday. Head Coach Antyone Sims also confirmed that they are not allowed to bump up players from junior varsity or lower.

September 5, 2018

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Aaron Valdez

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Midgame Skirmish Taints Muir Football’s NorCal Road Trip”

  1. Tom Douglas says:

    Dear Readers,

    I have read with interest the various news stories with regard to the Muir game with Northern California’s Stellar Academy, which is based in a community called Hayward – in the Bay Area. I may also be the only individual that knows the coaching staff and players of either team that has been involved with athletics at the highest possible level – traveling all over the world, in fact. Thus I have seen a lot when it comes to sports – and sportsmanship, as well as media coverage related to sports at all levels of play.
    I do not have a son on the Stellar team nor do I work there, although I did teach at the school for a bit last year when I had the extra time to do so. I am also intimately familiar with Pasadena, as my business career has taken me to your wonderful city a plentiful number of times.
    I don’t often write responses to news coverage, but I feel very compelled to do so in this instance. To be clear, my comments are not directed to or towards this publication, which actually seems to be unbiased. Muir and the citizens of the Pasadena area are actually quite fortunate to have a periodical like this in their midst.
    I am however eminently frustrated by the coverage of others as well as various people’s commentary on Twitter and elsewhere on Social Media coupled with a letter to the editor written and published elsewhere in a local Pasadena area publication. I have found much of the coverage to be unfairly critical of the Stellar kids and the program overall and additionally, I found a sizable chunk of it to be racist either in nature or in bias.
    Yes, Stellar consists of a largely black coaching staff and roster. But NO, the school is NOT in “Oakland” as characterized incorrectly by some (and in plenty of these instances, written as “code” for negative connotations related to that city) nor are the players from there and NO, the team did not take “cheap shots” in an unprovoked manner allegedly because they were losing the game at the time nor because the team and it’s players lack character. To the contrary.
    Stellar consists of young men laden with character led by a coaching staff that exemplifies the meaning of that word. They are gifted leaders of young student-athletes and these high school players work harder than most any student-athletes to be found in the Bay Area, in Pasadena or anywhere in-between. My guess is that the Muir boys do, too from what I can ascertain about the school and it’s solid program. But to characterize this unpleasant event as the fault of one school only and merely the fault of the Stellar squad does a disservice to the kids of both schools and diminishes the work each sideline puts in to their craft each and every week of the season and largely, during the off-season as well. Based upon the observations of the on-site game officials, players were suspended from BOTH teams; in fact more from Muir than from Stellar, although that is not the point.
    Yes, it was an unfortunate occurrence but it should not take away from nor diminish the afterglow from your talented athletes enjoying the experience of flying north, doing a college visit and learning the joys that can come from being on the road with their peers and for athletic competition. And even from unpleasantness comes learning, and thus is the case in this instance.
    Led me conclude by writing this: I know these young men from Stellar. I have as I mentioned been all over the world. I have also mentored, taught, and guest-lectured at educational institutions ranging from high schools through advanced-degree graduate school programs. The young men from Stellar are outstanding kids – PERIOD. They know that if I ever see them out of line I call them out for it. But I can also say that I have learned as much from them as they have from me – if not more. They work hard and fly right. They and their program generate results that regularly attract collegiate coaches to their games and to the Stellar campus from institutions of higher learning that are among the best in the country – for football AND academics. These are schools that look for the best – both on and off of the playing field. It is no coincidence that they find their way to Hayward, California and to Stellar Prep. By the way, if these visiting collegiate coaches make a few wrong turns or have a very faulty GPS and somehow find themselves in Oakland – well, they will have driven way too far to the north – a city which by the way is the exact opposite direction from the airport than where the school is actually located.
    I wish nothing but good fortune to Muir and it’s solid football program. I also don’t make the comments contained herein lightly, including pointing out some of the clearly racist connotations attached to writings and opinions elsewhere (oh and by the way, I am a mid-career WHITE guy, so if I can identify racial overtones then no question that plenty readers of color noted it as well) but at the same time, I also cannot allow much of the negative commentary that I have seen about last week’s marred football game and about a group of incredibly wonderful and gifted coaches and student-athletes from Stellar Prep go unanswered.


    Tom Douglas

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