By Tim Peterson
There’s nothing like beating a dead horse but sometimes they’re just worth beating. If you’re a high school official it’s ok to leave the flag in your pocket.
The reason the parents laid out the dough to sit in the stands, the cheerleaders cheer on the sidelines, and the fans read the game stories in the newspaper and on the websites are because of the players, not you. We want to see plays, not penalties. We want to see points on the scoreboard, not flags on the field.
I’ve defended officials before and I still believe that they should not be berated or verbally abused by players and coaches but the referees need to show some restraint as well. These are high school kids, 16 and 17 years old. If you look hard enough you could conceivably call a penalty on every play.
But please, it’s not necessary. We don’t need a holding call on every other down. Don’t call a block in the back when the foul occurred 30 yards away and had no bearing on the outcome of the play.
In the Cathedral-La Salle game last Friday night there were 27 penalties called for a total of 225 yards.
Cathedral, despite winning 17-0, bore the brunt of the punishment with 17 penalties for 135 yards.
Every drive was seemingly 10 yards, up and 15 yards back. Every big play was called back. The flow of the game was completely ruined. Fans on both sides were screaming “C’mon let’em play!”
When an official missed one obvious facemask and surprisingly didn’t throw the flag, he immediately made up for it on the very next play when he tossed the laundry as soon as the ball was snapped.
By the way is there a quota on holding calls? I mean, they were calling the infraction on two yard runs.
Note to high school officials: We came to see the players, not you. Control the game, don’t ruin it. Leave the laundry in your pocket.
Speaking of Cathedral the Phantoms are still on track for a head on crash with St. Francis on October 28. They improved to 7-0 with the win over La Salle while St. Francis is also unbeaten through seven games after a Saturday night victory over Salesian. The game is at Cathedral so you might need to take the day off to get there early enough to find parking.
After seeing him live Friday night, it’s hard to believe Cathedral quarterback Bryce Young is only a freshman.
Has the talking started yet for the Montebello-Schurr game next season?
The focus at Chino last Friday night was Charter Oak head coach Lou Farrar getting his 300th victory. He got it as the Chargers handled the Cowboys 45-21 but did you notice anything else? Zack Niccoli, who had replaced the injured Bret Clemetson, wasn’t at quarterback. Instead it was Matthew Takata who had transferred in from Santa Fe, that was behind center for the first time this year and was completely under the radar. He threw for over 400 yards and three touchdowns to lead CO to the win. Takata? Santa Fe? What? There’s never a shortage of talent at Charter Oak.
We’re still waiting for the CIF decision on the Covina-Baldwin Park incident last Friday night. A brawl near the end of the first half saw nearly the entire Covina bench leave the sideline which means automatic suspensions for the next game. The Colts could be in trouble for its game this Friday vs. Wilson. In this one the officials might might not be able to “let them play!”
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tspeterson40.