When varsity football coach Christian Mahaffey found out that senior wide receiver Guillermo Salazar would be missing a game to play in a showcase baseball tournament in Arizona in front of college scouts, the coach had to make a big decision.
He decided that if Salazar was not committed to the team and was willing to miss a game, then he was not going to be on the team at all.
“I’m going to a baseball tournament in Arizona and I’m going to miss the game against Whitney,” said Salazar.
This tournament is a must attend for the former wide receiver because baseball is his top priority.
“I have a better chance of getting scouted, especially in Arizona. I don’t really have a choice,” Salazar stated.
Unfortunately for the team, the lost eleven of Guillermo’s friends on top of losing a starting wide receiver.
The group of seniors made a joint decision because they believed that the decision was unfair to their friend Guillermo.
“We felt that the decision was unfair because other kids on the team have missed more practices and games than [Salazar] but didn’t get kicked off. Coach sent it to the team to make a decision,” stated senior Matt Laffey.
In the midst of all of his fellow seniors quitting to protest Mahaffey’s decision, only twenty-two players, mostly juniors, remain on the team.
The loss of starting quarterback Mark Lyon, running backs, and receivers, have caused Mahaffey to instill a new offensive playbook.
The starting lineup for the Cordova game on Friday will feature several players who haven’t played very much at all in the previous five games.
Parents and players attended a meeting with Mahaffey and principal Brian Ginter that escalated rather quickly yesterday, with all of the parents taking a side, either with the seniors or the coach.
The players are hopeful that they will be able to return to the team, but some parents are convinced that they will not be allowed back.
“We’d love to come back, but if we can’t then we wish the team the best of luck,” Laffey stated.
The move by the players was a kind gesture and showed how loyal the fellow seniors were to Salazar.
“I’m grateful that they did that for me but I hope it was for their own doing and not for me”
A decision on whether or not the players will be allowed to return to action will be made by Ginter in the near future. This decision could mean life or death for the football team, and coach Mahaffey’s future as the football coach rests in the decision, too.