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high school football:

Western High football to forfeit final 3 games after hazing

Updated Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 | 5:53 p.m.

Western High School football canceled

KSNV coverage of Western High School ending the football program after allegations of hazing among teammates surfaced, Oct. 14, 2011.

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The Western High football team’s season ended Friday when school officials announced they were forfeiting the final three games after multiple players were suspended for being involved in an on-campus hazing incident.

The hazing, which was confirmed to the Sun by students and players, would have left the already short-handed team with about 14 eligible players. Instead of promoting underclassman from the junior varsity or freshman teams, it was determined those younger and undersized players would be at risk for injury.

Western was supposed to play Durango Friday, two-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman next week and Sierra Vista to close the season on Oct. 27. About seven or eight players were suspended because of an incident that occurred Wednesday, according to students.

Now, the remaining players are left with handling an abrupt end to their season. For the seniors, it’s likely the end of their football playing days. Western finished the season with a 0-6 record.

“It’s a horrible feeling,” said senior Reggie Williams, one of the team’s top players, who said he wasn’t involved in the incident. “It’s terrible. We only had three games left in high school and it’s ruined because of a hazing situation.”

Western coach Fernando Carmona was unable to comment on the situation, but his demeanor was similar to his players: in complete dismay.

“I really don’t know how to explain how I feel. We were all shocked,” Williams said.

Players were informed of the decision at an early afternoon meeting. Western also canceled the season for its lower-level teams.

On Thursday, Western initially canceled its junior varsity game against Durango, saying it planned to promote several players to the varsity team because of the hazing incident, Trailblazers coach Gary Maki said. Athletes can only play in one game each week, meaning players couldn’t play in a Thursday junior varsity game and return for a varsity contest the next day.

A day later, however, Maki received another phone call saying there would be no game altogether.

“I would have liked to have had it,” Maki said. “It was a game I feel we could have won on the field. It would have given our players quality reps for a playoff run.

“The kids were disappointed. They wanted to play,” Maki continued. “I’m sure the kids over there were disappointed, too.”

Gorman was supposed to play Western next week for its homecoming game, but acted quick and scheduled Arbor View, which had a bye.

Arbor View lost to Gorman in last year’s semifinals, and Aggies coach Dan Barnson previously said his team wouldn’t be afraid to face the two-time defending state champions. It’s a good gauge for Arbor View, which will likely be the No. 2 seed from the Northwest for the playoffs and play Gorman again in the semifinals.

For players like Williams, the reality of the season coming to a premature close is still setting in. He will attend the Canyon Springs game Friday to cheer on some friends.

“Seeing everyone else play football and not being able to is tough because I love this game so much,” he said.

Sun reporter Paul Takahashi contributed to this report.

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  1. From:

    "Hazing" refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate.

    I would say losing to Pahrump Valley in varsity football could be considered as such.

  2. It shouldnt be called hazing when the so called victim was laughing with the rest of them the whole time. Its called a football team joking around and having a good time, they were not out to nor did they hurt anyone. They got caught on the school cameras having fun and this is what it turns it? Where were the coaches that were supposed to be supervising these kids on school property at night?

  3. Now the suspended students are going to be expelled from Western? There is talk the school district will not allow these kids to ever play a sport in any school in Clark County - there is also rumor the seniors may not graduate? There is something exremely wrong with this picture - the kids need to tell their sides. Amazingly the school has not even meet with the parents of the suspended students face to face - all the parents received was a phone call or voice mail stating your son has been RPCd for a hazing incident!! The Deans office won't even return phone calls from the parents of the involved students - there is something wrong with this picture. CCSD should expose the whole story and not just their opinion. It is the CCSD OPINION that this was a hazing, there were no injuries, vulgar language no type of hitting - NO VIOLENCE occurred during this incident.

  4. This so called "kids having fun incident" hurt Sierra Vista too. Thanks to these thugs - our team lost their senior night and our seniors lost the opportunity to play on our home field one last time through no fault of their own. My son is a captain and gets to miss his last senior game because some stupid kids had to take things entirely too far. With parents like you defending actions like that - no wonder they acted like this. Thanks a lot!

  5. We had "initiation" in band when I attend high school here. For us, it was a rite of passage. So glad people were not so sensitive back then, because frankly, our society suffers from a lack of rites of passage.

  6. To Footballmomma;
    First off their is no reason for you to call these Seniors THUGS and stupid kids when you do not know them, one of them whom happens to be my nephew. These so called THUGS/STUPID kids are Seniors who have never gotten in trouble and were having a little bit of fun. Secondly where do you get off making the statement "with parents defending actions like that-no wonder they acted like this".
    The school cancelled the last three games not these Seniors who by the way are just as disappointed as your son in not being able to play the last three games and have their chance at playing their last Senior game as a Western Warrior, with the chance to bring their SUPPORTIVE moms/dads on the field with them. As far as I'm concerned you not only owe these parents an apology but you owe these kids an apology. They were having some fun as SENIORS in their last year of high school. No harm no foul.
    Western High School should have investigated the situation fully and found out why the Coaches were not watching the players during practice, they should be asking why a camera with the so called incident on it was erased.
    Try getting all your facts before you go around calling these upstanding young adults STUPID THUGS and blaming their parents. This is a case of the school taking action before finding out the facts! Oh and one more thing Sierra Vista was not the only high school that had their games against Western cancelled.

  7. I would like to know more about the situation because my initial reaction is that it sounds like someone over-reacted resulting in innocent students bearing the brunt of the punishment. Anyone close to the situation willing to comment?

  8. Footballmama2, while I empathize with the other schools and students my point was that Footballmama should not be calling these young men Stupid Thugs without even knowing them. I can understand that the other schools are affected by this incident and many many students will be unable to have their Senior nights or homecomings.
    My comment to clarify about "no harm no foul" was that the student who was in the chair was a willing participant who was a member of this football team and therefore this was not an initiation on to the team and that it was 7-9 teenage boys goofing around. Do I feel that they need to be held responsible for their actions in a moment of misjudgment, yes, but as Janine has stated there are two sides to every story, the administration could have handled this incident internally without affecting the other schools, senior night and homecoming games. I was not pushing off blame to the coaches or administration I was merely pointing out that the coaches were not doing their job in supervising these students during a school function which was football practice. What is not being said is how this incident being labeled as "hazing" will affect these students for years to come. Should they have been expelled, IN MY OPINION, no. Should they have been not allowed to play in the remaining games maybe not but again no one is saying how these teenagers feel remorse, are willing to accept responsibility for their actions, how this will affect their chances of getting into college if this goes on their record as a hazing incident and the fact that they have to face their entire school and being labeled as the guys who ruined Senior night. Being expelled from the school and possibly the district is taking this to an extreme. I know that I will be up there Monday morning to show my support to these teenagers and how they are being mislabeled and the punishment does not fit the "crime".

  9. I had the privileged of coaching at Western High last year and can tell you this was a bizarre and out of the ordinary experience. Coach Carmona runs a VERY tight ship. I can assure you, none of this was because the coaches looked the other way or condoned any such behavior.
    I also know the athlete who was hazed and can tell you he is not a sissy, this is evident by him not even telling his parents.
    Some things get blown out of proportion, keep in mind, I am not supporting the idiots that did this to him. They can look themselves in the mirror and hold themselves responsible for Western forfeiting the last three games.
    I don't know if you at home realize, but these kids work so hard. Hours, among hours during the summer to get ready for football.
    It is a shame a program, like Westerns, who is trying to rebuild gets faced with something like this.
    Kids, you have to realize... it's not funny! Look what happened.

  10. So, Janine, if you ever get back on this page. How did it go for you at Western today? Did you find it productive or a waste of time?

  11. Actually it was very productive and a lot of truth has come out - there is much more to come. People should not over react as they have.

  12. I am sure there is more to come. I am sure that the result will stay the same with the football team though. As for the rest, like expulsions, I really don't care. I work at another school now, and I am concerned with my students, not Western students. Actually, I find the whole thing amusing.

    You are right. Some people here did overreact.