Queen Creek High School is taking disciplinary action against the school’s football coaching staff over a play Friday in which six defensive players deliberately jumped offside, knocking over all of Arcadia’s linemen, injuring one.
Principal Angela Chomokos confirmed Wednesday the offside, which occurred on the first play from scrimmage, was intentional.
"I think what was intended was to make sure we got moving quickly," Chomokos said. "I think the intent was we went on the first movement and tried to make sure we established it would be a hard (hitting) game."
Chomokos went on to explain the Bulldogs jumped offside to send a message to the Titans that they were in for a ballgame. On the play, Titans lineman Jack Carter suffered a hip flexor injury and missed the rest of the game. He may not play this Friday at Tempe.
"We are taking some action with our coaches," Chomokos said.
"I don’t think there was an intent to hurt. Our boys are clean players. The coaches, basically, you know are very good guys. I know that at no time do they mean to be unsportsmanlike."
Chomokos refused to specify what disciplinary action would be taken, saying it was a confidential personnel matter.
Head coach Curt LeBlanc did not return a telephone call and was unavailable for comment.
Athletic director Tot Workman, who on Tuesday insisted the offside was not deliberate, had little comment.
"I do not have a comment at this time," Workman said. "I am asking to let us police ourselves and keep it internal."
Harold Slemmer, the executive director of the Arizona Interscholastic Association, is expecting a report from Queen Creek detailing the incident and the disciplinary action to be taken. That report would be reviewed by the AIA’s executive board at its next meeting on Nov. 21 to determine if further discipline is necessary.
Slemmer would not reveal what Queen Creek’s self-imposed disciplinary action will be but said the AIA probably will deem it appropriate and would not impose sanctions of its own. The AIA could impose sanctions ranging from a slap on the wrist to a ban on postseason play for Queen Creek, which at 6-2 appears headed to the 4A Division II playoffs.
"I think the school took some pretty aggressive action," Slemmer said. "They definitely addressed it.
"I think there is not much we have to do."
Arcadia coach and athletic director Jim Bevell was pleased Queen Creek acted quickly on the matter.
"I’m glad that whenever there is an allegation," Bevell said, "that the principal would at least look into it."