Ripon Christian gets another Friday night off from action and a pass to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI semifinals.
That’s because second-round opponent Calaveras has been forced to forfeit its upcoming game at Ripon Christian for using an ineligible player during a 56-13 blowout of Western Sierra last week. The third-seeded Knights (10-1), meanwhile, had a bye.
According to the Calaveras Enterprise, which broke the news Wednesday evening, the illegal player transferred to the San Andreas school as a freshman late in the 2018-19 school year and played for the junior varsity squad this past regular season.
He was promoted for the playoffs and participated in the opening round, but it turns out he is ineligible to play in a varsity game this season because of transfer rules. The school self-reported the infraction to the SJS.
“It’s disappointing for both programs,” Ripon Christian Athletic Director Kevin Tameling said. Football coach Randy Fasani could not be reached for comment.
“I really feel for the Calaveras players and coaches with all the work they’ve put in throughout the season. I also feel for our kids. They spent the last couple of weeks getting ready for this. They were excited to host a playoff game and were looking forward to competing for what was expected to be a very tough game.”
Tameling said he and the team did not find out about the cancellation until after practice Wednesday. Calaveras players were informed during their practice Wednesday, according to the Enterprise.
Calaveras ends its season with an 8-4 record and was part of a three-way share of the Mother Lode League championship with Amador and Sonora. Two of its losses came against Trans-Valley League powerhouses Escalon and Ripon.
Tameling added that RC’s team will hold practice as originally scheduled today. The Knights await the winner of No. 7 Bear River (8-3) and No. 2 Hilmar (9-1). Ripon Christian lost to Hilmar 48-14 in the title round last year.