Los Gatos High students will not be allowed to watch their team host a Division I playoff game against Salinas on Tuesday night.
In an earlier win over Mountain View on February 10, a large portion of the students rushed to court to celebrate after a 37-35 win, in violation of Central Coast Section and Santa Clara Valley Athletic League rules.
Without specifying the punishment, an entry on the school’s website on Feb. 15 stated the following:
The CCS Sportsmanship Policy states that “at any CCS Playoff event, charging of the ‘field of play’ by spectators or other unauthorized persons during or after the game is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.” The SCVAL and its board of directors have adopted this policy for all competitions. Charging the playing field after the game creates an unsafe environment.
Only students who have a brother or sister on the team are allowed to participate. A league penalty prevented students from the final SCVAL game of the season, an 84-50 victory over Cupertino on February 14.
Central Coast Section commissioner Dave Grissom said the sanction was imposed by Los Gatos, not the section.
Los Gatos coach Nick Ward said he knew there could be a problem after the thrilling win over Mountain View.
“I was on the field celebrating with the boys,” said Ward. “I’ve tried to wave them off, but it’s hard.”
Ward said he didn’t necessarily agree with the temporary student ban, but understands a rule was broken.
“I’ve spoken to my athletic director and told him I don’t agree,” said Ward. “All children and parents know the rule. They talk about it during the preparation meetings. I know the rule. I know students can’t do that, but if you’re a 15, 16, or 17-year-old kid right now, you want to celebrate with your classmates and your friends.”
Los Gatos, 19-5, is the No. 2 seed in Division I. If the Wildcats defeated No. 7 Salinas (18-7), they would host a game against No. 3 Carlmont or No. 6 in the next round Mountain View, and students are allowed to attend. Los Gatos has split its two games with Mountain View, losing on the road before winning the game at home that prompted the student body to storm the court.