PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — A local high school football coach is benching himself in the next round of the playoffs.
“On a personal level it hurts, but I know deep down this is the right decision,” Del Oro High School head coach Jeff Walters said.
Walter’s says he hopes his action will show his players, character matters more than winning.
The decision comes after a wild finish in Del Oro’s round one playoff match-up—the Golden Eagles hit a 53-yard field goal to beat Lincoln as time ran off the clock.
Del Oro’s team, coaches, parents, and fans rushed the field.
“There was some chaos on the field for sure,” Walters said.
Walters now calls the celebration excessive.
“It was a little bit out of control, and obviously as head coach, I take full responsibility for that,” Walters said.
Now in an unusual move, Walters told his team, he is giving himself a one-game suspension.
“You know there’s a great quote that sports were made for kids and grown-ups only screw it up,” Walters said. “You know that’s a little bit of what happened Thursday night. That’s why we made the decision to go ahead and put the focus back where it should be, on my amazing players who deserve the attention.”
Walters is coaching practice leading up to game day.
A spokesperson for the governing body of California high school sports says they received some complaints from Lincoln High School parents about Del Oro’s sportsmanship. But not an unusual number following such an emotional game.
Bryan Treadwell is a Del Oro parent who shot video of the celebration.
“The excitement was in that last minute was unbelievable you know from both sides,” Treadwell said.
A game-winning kick as time expires.
Then a lesson on character Del Oro’s coach hopes could be timeless.
“Class in victory and class in defeat, we didn’t exhibit that,” Walters said.