Threat of gang violence forces East Bay school officials to cancel football games

ByLisa Amin via KGO logo
Friday, September 27, 2019
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SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- All is quiet on San Leandro High School's football field. Practice, as well as Friday night's junior varsity and varsity games against Oakland's McClymonds High School, have been canceled.

David Porlaris is a 14-year-old JV football player at San Leandro and says, "Heard they're going to come to our field and I guess started shooting. I heard that's what he said and he wants to keep us safe."

"He" is the head coach and "they" are gang members.

Administrators from both schools agreed to cancel the games out of an abundance of caution.

They say they will be rescheduled soon.

Oakland Athletic League Commissioner Franky Navarro said, "We're looking to reschedule hopefully if we can find some time that we can both work looks like we have a tentative date."

Coaches are not sharing details and the games will not be open to the public.

The reason for staying tight-lipped is safety.

"We have to be safe rather than sorry," Porlaris said.

That doesn't take away from the disappointment felt by many varsity players, who wanted to play Friday regardless of the threat.

McClymonds varsity football player James Willoughby said, "No I'm not really worried about it. I'm just here to play football. Me and my team we're not really worried about it. We don't think we don't have any concerns we don't think anything will happen."

McClymonds varsity football player Semaj Sims said, "I had coaches coming to look at us, come look at the whole team and we can't play. I feel that's jeopardizing our season a little bit just pushing things back."

If, for some reason, the games are not rescheduled they would be marked as no contest and not a forfeit.