SHAFTER, Calif. (KGET) — Shafter is filled with heartbreak after the Generals’ tough loss Friday at the semifinal game — just one game away from winning a championship.
“This is a moment where it didn’t matter what they did, the adults failed them,” said Jerald Pierucci, Head Football Coach for Shafter High.
The controversial last play of the game is called the “no call” by Shafter fans, who say referees dropped the ball when an ineligible player caught the winning touchdown for Torres.
“We got robbed. Undefeated season,” said Shafter fan, Jon Lindsey.
Lindsey has been bleeding yellow and blue since he was 12. He went to Shafter High, and now at 63, he never misses a home game, and now he’s not going to miss the chance to drop his two cents.
“A lineman can’t catch a ball and score a touchdown. No matter who you are,” Lindsey added.
The California Interscholastic Federation is standing by the call — a call that can hurt for a lifetime — and won’t change the outcome of the game.
Colby Miller is a throwing coach who says he’s heartbroken for the senior football players at Shafter.
“For a lot of them, it’s the last year. The last time they’ll ever step on the football field,” said Miller.
Colby’s father, Robert Miller, coached football for 18 years until dozens of back surgeries took him out of the game, but what hurts him the most is the message sent to players.
“Doing what’s right should come before anything else, and I think they missed a great opportunity to teach what integrity was, and to honor what they say in their mission statement,” said Robert Miller.
The Shafter football season may be over, but Shafter school spirit never dies.
“We got one Kern County Team left, and even though it’s our arch rivalry, you know, I’ll speak for myself, and hopefully, for a lot of people in Shafter. We wish Wasco the best, and hope they bring home a ring to represent the S as well as Kern County,” said Robert Miller.
“Life goes on, and we need to make sure that next year, we don’t give the adults in the room the opportunity to hose us over like they did this year,” said Coach Pierucci.