Canyon used ineligible player in 2 games

The Canyon football team keeps slipping in the Foothill League standings even though the season ended on Friday night.

The Canyon coaches and administration informed the CIF Southern Section offices that the team used an ineligible player in two games, the season finale against Golden Valley and in the preceding game against Saugus.

CIF Southern Section Director of Communications Thom Simmons said, per CIF rules, Canyon will only have to forfeit one game, the initial game, for the ineligible player.

“Therefore, Canyon will only be forfeiting their win over Saugus,” Simmons said in an e-mail. “That forfeit will not affect the Northern Division playoff bracket or the Foothill League entries.”

Valencia won the Foothill League championship, its third in a row, and is the No. 4 seed in the Northern Division playoffs. Canyon was the Foothill League co-champion with Valencia before the forfeit. Both teams finished with 4-1 records in league, but Valencia beat Canyon and thus earned the top seed from the Foothill League teams.

However, as a result of the Canyon forfeit, Saugus improved to 4-1 and can claim a share of the Foothill League title with Valencia. Canyon dropped to 3-2 and into a third-place tie with Hart in the league standings.

Canyon coach Rich Gutierrez said he filed transfer paperwork for the player in question. But Canyon administrators did not process the paperwork and the CIF Southern Section has yet to receive the transfer papers.

“We have not received the official letter from the Canyon administration,” Simmons said in an e-mail. “However, they have informed us they had an ineligible player participate in two contests (Saugus and Golden Valley). However, the player in question would have been eligible if the proper paperwork had been filed by the school in question.”

The Northern Division playoff pairings will not change despite the forfeited game by Canyon. Saugus will open on the road against Highland and Canyon will be home against Palmdale in the first round on Friday night.