Pointer players, fans left in the dark after championship
by SCOTT HOPKINS
Published - 03/16/16 - 03:58 PM | 3842 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Point Loma soccer player Kyle Hoh (10, in white) soars in an attempt to head the ball past Pasadena's goalkeeper, in gray, during the Pointers' first state playoff match. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
Point Loma soccer player Kyle Hoh (10, in white) soars in an attempt to head the ball past Pasadena's goalkeeper, in gray, during the Pointers' first state playoff match. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
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After winning a CIF soccer championship, Point Loma Pointer players and fans found themselves in a dark stadium at Olympian High School in Chula Vista when stadium lights were turned off before their team's trophy presentation began following the team’s victory over San Marcos.

All CIF playoff events are conducted by the CIF, including charging admission to sports like soccer thantare normally free. Adults, for instance, paid $9 for admission.

A large turnout of these paying students, boosters and fans had watched the Pointers earn a 3-1 victory for their first CIF title in 33 years when, at the final whistle, many students ran onto the field to celebrate with the athletes. When security personnel asked them to leave the field, the students did so quickly and without incident, according to PLHS Principal Hans Becker.

Suddenly, the lights on the Point Loma (visitors) side of the field were turned off, and confused people began leaving the darkened stands.

Meanwhile, CIF officials in attendance and in charge of the game began the on-field introduction of San Marcos players by the public address announcer, presenting them with pins as runners-up.

Then, as Pointer players and coaches stood awaiting their introduction, the remaining stadium lights turned off, leaving numerous Pointer students, parents and fans in a completely dark stadium at an unfamiliar school site.

At least one injury to a Pointer fan who fell in the dark has been rumored, while many who attended the game are upset by the chain of events that left people disoriented and scared.

Becker contacted the San Diego CIF office and his district director of athletics, seeking an explanation for the apparent snub of Pointer fans and athletes.

Last week, CIF Commissioner Jerry Schniepp visited PLHS to personally apologize for the debacle. He said the lights were turned off on the visitors side of the stadium "to move fans off the field"; however, many Pointer fans were seated, awaiting the trophy presentation.

Schniepp also said the rest of the lights were turned off "by accident" when a custodian flipped the switch. The lights were turned on again later, but only after they had gone through a mandatory "cool-down" period.

As for the CIF champion Pointer soccer team, Schniepp offered to have a ceremony for the team at any time the school selects and added the investigation of the incident continues and that "some changes" will be made.

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