By Zach Cavanagh
Administrators at both San Clemente High and Mission Viejo High are investigating allegations of racist comments made on the field during the schools’ varsity football game on Friday night, Oct. 14, San Clemente.
“San Clemente High School administration has spoken to adults and students who were present at the game. The investigation continues today as we are still working to determine what was said by whom,” Capistrano Unified School District spokesperson Ryan Burris said in an email to San Clemente Times on Tuesday.
“As part of our investigation, we have shared information with Mission Viejo High School regarding allegations related to their student conduct at Friday night’s game. Both schools are working collaboratively to address student athlete conduct.”
The Saddleback Valley Unified School District, which includes Mission Viejo High, echoed that the schools are working together on the investigation.
“At this time, the administration of both Mission Viejo High School and San Clemente High School are in continued communication and engaging in concurrent investigations regarding unacceptable behavior that occurred at Friday’s varsity football game,” Saddleback Valley Unified District spokesperson Wendie Hauschild said in an email to the San Clemente Times on Tuesday. “Each school will be working with their own teams to address the needs and actions of their students.
There had been bad blood between the rival football programs throughout the week.
In the freshman football game on Thursday at San Clemente, Mission Viejo defeated San Clemente, 80-7, with accusations of the Diablos “running up the score” with two onside kicks during the second half, while Mission Viejo already had a sizeable lead.
During the varsity game on Friday, Mission Viejo was levied four unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the first half, and San Clemente was also charged with one.
In 2019, an SCHS investigation confirmed that a “racial epithet” and “derogatory words” were directed at cheerleaders and fans from Lincoln High School of San Diego by the bathrooms and in the stands during a varsity football game between the schools.
Students and adults from both schools participated in a Restorative Circle and workshop with the Anti-Defamation League, and San Clemente committed to “ongoing work” with the Anti-Defamation League to educate the school’s staff and students.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at email@example.com.