Alameda rivalry football game cancelled due to fight

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- A 60-year tradition, a great rivalry game, has been called off this year. An out-of-control fight means the annual Island Bowl between cross-town rivals Encinal High and Alameda High will not be played. It's a disappointment for fans and a huge lesson for players.

The fight broke out last Friday during a game between Encinal High and Central-Antelope High from the Sacramento area. Alameda school officials say Encinal started the fight in which one of their players knocks a helmetless opponent unconscious.

"This is a moment where they clearly broke CIF regulations by leaving the bench to join that fight and a message has to be sent," Alameda Unified School District Superintendent Sean McPhetridge said.

For the first time in its 60-year history, Encinal High is being forced to forfeit this week's annual Island Bowl with cross-town rival Alameda High.

"They're definitely punishing the whole city and all the people that want to go," Encinal High School student Skyler Stebbins.

"There's nobody out in the streets. Everybody is at that game that night. It gets pretty packed," Encinal High School student Nick Bustos said.

Only the junior varsity team worked out on Monday. Varsity practice is canceled for the week. Meanwhile, eight Encinal High football players have been suspended, including wide receiver Manuel Means.

Means told ABC7 News, "I think we're way better than that because we worked too hard to get where we're at now and it's just stupid that we did that."

Means' mother, Talytha Helem, said her son had to "own up to his responsibilities. If he had violent behavior, if he hit anybody, to just own up to his responsibilities."

"They should really be punishing Encinal, but they're punishing Alameda as well," said Alameda High School student Mikayla Wong.

Students at Alameda High School say the punishment is unfair. Now students have started a social media campaign to save Island Bowl, but school officials say the decision will stand.
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