Tied Up in Their First Tie


Ashley Sanchez

Senior Luis Bonilla (#7) keeping the ball away from Riverside Prep after the opposing team scored their first goal. Coach Kelsey elaborated on what went on with the tie of the game by stating, "Their goal, which went first, was unlucky on our part, but they were pressnig hard and had a good opportunity and scored. (...) It took us a little bit of time to get our composure back, and start playing as the Jaguar team we've been all year."

Ashley Sanchez, Journalist, Announcements

The rival soccer game between University Prep and Riverside Prep on the cold afternoon of February 2nd, 2020, left a significant mark on the Jaguars. As the temperatures dropped, the tensions rose. Up to this point, the Jags were undefeated in league. With this being the penultimate game before the league champions were declared, the pressure was on for these boys. However sometimes, things just don’t go as planned

The Jaguars let their guard down, knowing that they had won against the Knights twice before this season. However, the Knights came back with commendable force, scoring before the Jags. This being Riverside Prep’s home game and their senior night, they were not going down without a fight. The game ended with the two teams tying with a score of 1-1. This came as a shock on both sides, as this was the first tie for the Jaguars in the league season. According to senior Alexandre Padilla (#17), the reason for the first tie was because, “Our mentality isn’t really there, and it feels as if there is not a strong relationship between us as players and our coach, like we had with our last coach. This isn’t to put the blame on Coach Kelsey though, because this is his first year as our coach. As a team, we haven’t made it easy for him. Leading up to the RP game, there were a lot of little arguments between Coach Kelsey and some players about simple things,” Padilla continued, “Our tie against RP is a good example of how important the morale of the team is. When players have low morale, the team as a whole starts to have low morale as well, and it affects our game a lot.”


Our tie against RP is a good example of how important the morale of the team is. When players have low morale, the team starts to have low morale as well, and it affects our game a lot.”

— Alexandre Padilla

However, the tie was not the only incident that added to the tension. Senior Gael Ramirez (#13), had gotten a yellow card within the first 15 minutes of the game. “I knew that I was going to be punished for it by not playing the whole game.” During the second half of the game, Ramirez was seated on the bench and rooted for his team verbally from there, “I was trying to support my team, and everyone knows a little trash talk is part of all sports, whether you like it or not.” Coach Kelsey is not one that likes that level of talk, however. Ramirez and Coach Kelsey got into a dispute after Kelsey told Ramirez to be quiet, which eventually ended with the Coach telling him that he could be kicked off of the team. As claimed by Ramirez, “This tension started way before high school even started (…) At this point, I was just tired of dealing with these sorts of situations, so I quit the team to save myself the trouble.” Ramirez resigned from the team after the game, the day before senior night. When asked about the situation, Coach Kelsey briefly stated, “It’s unfortunate, but it’s been coming for a while.”

Despite the shocking turn of events, the dispute between Coach Kelsey and Ramirez was not the last issue of the game. The problem occurred immediately after the game ended, during the usual handshakes between the two teams. Junior Oscar Serrano (#15) said, “The refs weren’t calling anything for us during the game and it was frustrating my teammates, especially me. At the end of the game, I said out loud that the refs don’t do work for anything and can’t do their jobs right.” The ref turned around and asked who had said it, just as Senior Bryan Ortiz (#10) turned around. Because of this, the ref called Ortiz’s second yellow card of the day. “What had first ignited that was the play where I cut in with the ball and got fouled, but the ref didn’t see it. Being the competitive person I am, I reacted to it and told him something, which gave me my first yellow card. So when he asked who it was, I must have been the first person in mind since I had already said something before,” said Ortiz. This immediately stirred up chaos, with Coach Kelsey and multiple players coming to Ortiz’s defense. The ref would not budge, though. This red card prevented Bryan Ortiz from attending the next game of the league season, which was coincidentally the last game and his senior night.

Ashley Sanchez
Junior Oscar Serrano (#15) mentioned that, “I went up to the ref after the handshake and told him that I said it and not Bryan, but he said he couldn’t reverse the call,” when asked about how he reacted in the situation with Senior Bryan Ortiz (#10). Ortiz was very forgiving of his teammate though, noting that Serrano stood up for him, and that, “It happens, and I’m not mad about it.”

 Immediately after the incident, Coach Kelsey explained, “We talked to Mr. Zimmerman, and immediately went to the league board to explain the situation, but you’re never gonna change a referee’s mind.” Mr. Zimmerman was said to have been in Ortiz’s defense, understanding the situation and speaking to the commissioner so that he’d be able to play the following game. However, nothing could be done to undo or fix the situation. Ortiz noted that Zimmerman told him that the reason that he would allow the team to play in CIF was so that Bryan could have the senior night that was wrongfully taken from him. In the end, Ortiz added, “Honestly, if it was another game and it didn’t happen to be senior night, I would have just taken the red card because it wouldn’t have been so important. But the fact that I was going to miss out on senior night and the championship game, bummed me out pretty bad. It hurt a little more that the player who actually said the remark to the ref can play in the game while I pay the consequences. I’m not allowed at senior night or the game, I have to be outside of the gates.”

Although an unfortunate stream of events occured, the Jags continue to remain in first place in league, with high hopes for CIF to start.