By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A rift on the Rio Americano High School football team is turning into a lesson in character and commitment.

Parents and players are calling foul on this one. But the coach is saying his players quit, and he’s not letting them back on the field.

If football is a metaphor for life, then seniors on the team are facing one big life lesson. There are times when standing in solidarity with some can leave others feeling stranded.

“They didn’t have to all of them walk out just for one teammate,” junior Cameron Scott said.

“You know as a player, you kind of feel betrayed, but they made their decision and you have to respect that,” fellow junior Michael Caccamo said.

Twelve senior football players turned in their uniforms in protest after a fellow senior letterman was forced to quit the team because the coach wouldn’t let him miss a league game to attend a baseball camp later this month.

“We just thought had a good enough relationship with our coach to where we could go to him and suggest ideas without it becoming an ultimatum needing to go there,” senior quarterback Mark Lyon said.

But their show of support, that willingness to walk away, did not sway their coach.

“In my opinion you’ve got a group of seniors quit and it’s cut and dried with me,” coach Christian Mahaffey said.

Now the Rio Americano Raiders will be without most of their senior class the rest of the season.

Parent Todd Lyon was asked if he wanted his son Mark to still play. “Absolutely. And they want to play too.”

But has that message been conveyed to the coach?

“I think there’s a communications breakdown,” Todd Lyon said.

It’s a tough a life lesson. Sometimes the best intentions have harsh consequences.

There was a meeting Monday night with parents, staff and players to discuss the possibility of allowing the seniors to play again. The meeting ended with no final decision made.


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