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Foothill parents and fans, we should be embarrassed

Original post made by Foothill parent on Mar 2, 2009

Last Saturday night, at the end of a game and the end of the season, our lady Falcon soccer team laid on the ground, brokenhearted by an overtime loss to rival San Ramon. Both teams fought hard, San Ramon cam back twice from two-goal deficits, and ended up the victor early in overtime. It was painful to watch, I can only imagine how painful it was to play.

But what was more painful was listening to my fellow Falcon faithful, as they booed the referees when they left the field. I will be the first to agree that at least two major calls were dubious, and potentially cost the girls the game. But at this point, the game was over, there was nothing to be said. The girls lost a soccer game, but we lost so much more. We lost our class, our dignity, our sportsmanship, and our respect in one 30-second period. It does not matter how badly the referees may or may not have been, but we stood to gain nothing by acting in such a childish way, and we lost so much. As we look to teach our children integrity, we showed them that we are so bitter that we have none ourselves.

I will only speak for myself, but I would like to apologize for our actions to the referees, to San Ramon players and supporters, and to the NCS. I cannot control anyone else, but I truly hope that we will act better next time.

Comments (35)

Posted by realsportsfan, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2009 at 4:30 pm

I disagree! Bad refs are BAD for the game. I believe in booing them when they make bad calls. Everyone needs to be aware of who these guys are, and where they are working. They need to be washed from the area. Plus, you're talking about right after an emotional loss too. I wouldn't condone anything further, but we are simply talking about "booing" from the stands. I enjoy sending my children to leagues in this city because of the spirit and competitiveness. I wouldn't look poorly apon anyone cheering (or booing) from the stands, as long as its within reason. And in my opinion, letting the refs know you're unhappy with their performance from the bleachers is surely within reason.

Posted by Foothill parent, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm

To rsf: I don't have a problem with a little booing DURING the game, but AFTER the score is settled, AFTER the game is over, it is showing no class to boo the refs. And it is possible, just possible, that these refs know just a wee bit more about the game than you or I do. They have probaly spent their lifetime in the game as a player and ref, and possibly a coach as well.

This is high school sports, let's keep it in perspective. These students need to know that we can leave with our heads held high, but instead we walk out in shame, showing the refs and SRV fans that we feel we were cheated out of a win.

And since it is "right after an emotional loss", all the more reason we should show some dignity, to show that we can rise above these not so great circumstances.

Were you even at the game?

Posted by mary, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2009 at 6:30 pm

I'm with you. Refs often make bad calls for one team or another and it seems to hit everyone. It's one thing to be excited and passionate and another thing to be a bad loser. Holding ones head high and acting with dignity would have been far greater a win than acting like whining babies over an unfortunate loss.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. AND...thanks for taking a stand against bad behaviour.

I applaud you.

Posted by Foothill parent, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 2, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Thank you mary. The girls on both teams played their hearts out, and for us to act that way is horrible. I love my fellow parents and Foothill fans, but I am embarrassed.

Posted by Typical, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 2, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Typical Foothill behavior. I have been witness to many Foothill games where the coaches run up the score, the kids refuse to shake hands if they lose, and the fans boo the opposing team. The season ending game was just Karma.

Posted by Not the refs fault, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Mar 2, 2009 at 7:00 pm

I have been around soccer for 40 years, playing, coaching and just watching and have yet to see a referee, no matter how bad, cost a team a game. It's an easy excuse when it's an emotional loss, but realize the refs make mistakes, just like the players do when they make a bad pass, miss a shot or fail to cover a wide open person in the penalty box.

I honestly believe the person who plays the perfect game or the coach who makes no mistakes are the only ones who can complain about the ref. And in my 40 years, I have yet to see that happen!!

Great season Foothill, don't let your whining take away from everything you accomplished. It's not always the better team who wins games, but showing class will always make you a winner.

Posted by fhs fan, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Congratulations to the Foothill girl's soccer team for such a successful season. You are a very special group of people and you have made everyone at Foothill proud. It's unfortunate when the refs calls seemed to affect the outcome of your game but you will always be number one in our hearts. Thanks for the joy you've brought to those people who have watched your games or anxiously waited to read about them in the newspaper. Now is the time to look ahead to your futures. They are guaranteed to be bright! As for the Foothill fans, it's a lesson learned. Next time,lets make our students proud and not act that way again.

Posted by Foothill Fan, a resident of Castlewood
on Mar 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm

This was a very emotional loss. Foothill had a great season. After the Amador 9-0 win, this forum enjoyed talking about bad sportsmanship and put down the Foothill team. Now Foothill parent wants to start another blog. Let's just call it a year and stop making posts about a team of talented young ladies.

Posted by Soccerfan, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 2, 2009 at 7:53 pm

I was at the game, a Amador parent rooting for the Foothill girls. What an amazing game. The FH girls showed the skills that earned them their place at the top of the national rankings. It was a heartbreaking loss, but you have to give SRV props for not giving up. I could not believe it - SRV had won; the fans in the stands felt then same way.

After the game was over, 2 boys (1 with a FH letter jacket) ran on to the field to confront the refs. Not a classy move. And then the refs walked towards the stands, and a woman right next to me wearing FH soccer gear yells "You Suck" about 5 times, at the top of her lungs. If "RealSportsFan" above considers this "a little booing", you are really missing the point. I was embarrassed to be from Pleasanton.

Posted by Mary, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Dear Typical,

Your name suits you well. Your obvious attitude shows that you, too, act without dignity and a ready finger to point towards an opposing team. Having been a parent of FHS kids for a total of 9 years I can surely attest to the same behavior coming from AVHS and other regional teams at one time or another, and can't tell you the number of times bad behavior from both parents and players cropped up from both sides. Don't act "typical" and point your finger to one group. That not only shows more bad manners, but ignorance.

Again, it is difficult to keep our emotions in check, but is honorable taking a stand with manners and decorum.

Posted by Delusional, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 3, 2009 at 9:30 am

As a long time booster club memeber at AV and attendee to many high school sports, I can tell you that the behavior discribed in the original post is not unique and I've seen many times at both Pleasanton schools, both Danville Schools and many times at the almighty DeLaSalle. Many parents have lost perspective of what high school sports are all about. I've seen parents on the players sideline calling other parents in the stands giving blow by blow descriptions of what the coaches are doing DURING games...... as well as all of the behavior described above and more.

For the most part the players themselves seem to conduct themselves with far better sportsmanship than the parents. Please don't tarnish what they Foothill Girls have done this year by bundling all parents/fans into one bucket. Having not been at the game myself I could see how giving up 3 goals so quickly when it looked like everything was going according to plan could taint opinion, but the refs don't put the ball in the net. Part of life is learning from adversity, and in that case the girls may have learned the most valuable lesson they'll ever learn.

Congratualtions girls on a fabulous season. Apologies for the immature fan behavior. Good luck to all of you at the next level!

Posted by realsportsfan, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2009 at 10:31 am

So, at the climax of an "emotional game" I'm supposed to turn off my passion and adrenaline and forget about the bad calls (that I might feel lead to the loss.) Should I give them a silent golf clap as I pack up my wine and crackers? Tell them, "good show, Ol' chap..." Well, I can't be so mature. I like to have FUN watching the games and that means being invested. I like to enjoy the following; cheering, booing, hi-fiving, laughing, chestbumping, (light)headbutting, dancing, spooning, singing, (the occasional)tear... I like to consider myself a true sports fan. Although now, I feel like I shouldn't attend games now if you people frown upon it so badly. Again, I'm not advocating anything further than "normal fan behavior." Which I feel to include "booing the refs after game." Pleasanton obviously has a higher standard than where I'm from. Although you should keep in mind that your children will soon play sports outside of Pleasanton. When they travel or make the next level, the devotion will raise dramatically. They might be offended by more obscene language. They might also be shocked to find that elsewhere, the emotions and devotion doesn't go away when the whistle is blown. All of this is only my opinion. I simply feel that fans speaking their minds as they empty the bleachers is completely normal.

Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 3, 2009 at 10:58 am

In response to "realsportsfan" and their comment, I can only reply:

We wonder why we have people like Rae Carruth and Michael Vick in professional sports. Sportsmanship and the lessons learned from it start in the stands (and at home) and roll down onto the field.

Feel free to have your behaviors and the examples they establish create another murderer and an animal abuser for profit.

Posted by Delusional, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 3, 2009 at 10:58 am

Unfortunately many behaviors have entered our lives that now some consider "normal". Porn for example. The fact that more people are comfortable with bad behavior just because more people do it, dosen't make it "normal" just accepted... Food for thought. You can do whatever you want, I have no vested interest in correcting you. My point is I rather the team remember their season for their accomplishments. I'd hate for their memory of this year to be the bad fan behavior at the end of the game, which by the way may cause them to believe the refs cost them the game, not the fact they were outscored by the other team. Show San Ramon Valley some respect, they are now the 3 time (I believe) defending NCS champions. You are simply discounting their accomplishment.

Posted by Foothill parent, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 3, 2009 at 11:37 am

Actually, they are now the four-time defending champion. Pretty impressive, I hope no one thought a three-time defending champion would go down easy.

To realsportsfan: I think it is time for you to consider curtailing your watching of high school sports and move on to professional sports, where you pay big bucks for tickets and it is accepted that you can boo whenever you want. Even in college you can get away with that, but as you can see by the rest of the posts, your actions have been frowned upon here. (Booing the refs is simply sour grapes at this point, it does nothing beneficial.)

Sports writers have a code of conduct when it comes to criticism. If it is high school sports, you never criticize a player and rarely a coach or ref. In college, where more money is involved, criticizing refs and coaches is now okay, but the players are almost hands-off, only gentle criticism where it is greatly warranted. In the pros, all fances are down, criticism can be given to all.

So if the writers are doing this, shouldn't we? REALsportsfan, if you want to boo and do whatever you want, then go see some REAL sports, not high school sports.

Posted by realsportsfan, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Well, I guess we'll have to just agree to disagree. I appriciate how polite some of you are. But for the others, I will try to ignore being grouped together with a murderer and a person that tortured and slaughtered animals. Although, both men are NOT involved with professional sports. They are criminals that happened to play sports. Their involvement with sports is coincidental. (Damn, you guys really are tough on 'booing' the refs) I will also TRY to ignore the 'Porn' comparison as well, but thats just disturbing. I think I got your point, but, remember that we are just talking about "booing" the refs at a soccer game. And for the record, I enjoy High School Sports because they are PURE. No corruption from money, or agents. No politics of media and players. It is an honest look at sports and the children who enjoy them. It is acutally fun to watch them play. And telling me I can't "boo" is like telling me I can't cheer or yell. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. As do most other 'real sports fans'
Can I ask some things? If my team wins an exciting victory, can I yell and cheer after the game? Or does all the fun end at the conclusion of the game? How long can I clap after the whistle is blown? I don't want to clap too much do I?...

Posted by Dilusional, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 3, 2009 at 2:34 pm


As long as you refrain from jumping into the team dogpile in the middle of the field after a game your likely ok with pretty much any cheering ;-) The opposing teams fans will let you know when you've gone too far.

Posted by Seriously???, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Mar 3, 2009 at 4:06 pm

realsportsfan -- you're kidding, right? I will be polite so as not to offend you, much the same way your were polite in your boorish behavior after the game.

Your behavior was wrong and honestly, immature at best. I am hoping you're a 18-year-old kid who got swept up in the emotion, not a parent of a player or former player.

Posted by Mike, a resident of California Somerset
on Mar 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Don't put porn in the same class as youth sports. People in porn have better manners than the participants in youth sports (parents/adults). I should know I was a little league ump for 20 years. A very good ump I might add.

Posted by Amazed, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 3, 2009 at 7:17 pm

I have lived in Pleasanton all my life and have witnessed some pretty amazing athletes. However, outside of the recent high school girls soccer players "traveling to the next level" as realsportsfan puts it, is not going to happen. I can count on one hand how many Pleasanton athletes have made it to a Division 1 school. Parents, don't ruin the fun! The game is for the kids. I really hope Realsportsfan is a teenager and not a parent in this town.

Posted by Dilusional, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 3, 2009 at 7:29 pm


I am sorry to inform you but realsportsfan's modo is "the older I get the better I was". He is likely an old man reliving his innadequate childhood. Whatever happended to sports being for fun? If parents would talk to the kids they would realize that mexican food with your buds (male or female), at fiesta taco is WAY more important that winning or losing!!!!

Posted by John, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 3, 2009 at 9:38 pm

The problem started long before these kids got to Amador or Foothill. If you go back to the youth leagues that funnel into these high schools you will find the root of the problems. All Star teams picked by coaches who picked their kids, parent who volunteer for everything to ensure their child is selected for the choosen team, league office holders without spines who den't stick up for whats right. Fix the problem early, not down the road.

Posted by fan, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 4, 2009 at 7:25 am

The refs blew the game. It's not about 'losing perspective' The game was over and the ref - for whatever reason - chose to let SR have many extra chances. The parent's feelings were justified. We may never know the refs motive, but that amount of extended time in HS soccer is unheard of. Why did the refs walk right up to the stands anyway? That NEVER happens in high level (college or professional) or emotional games. The refs needed to stay away. Period.

Posted by high school parent, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Mar 4, 2009 at 10:12 am

So Foothill. So sad.

Posted by Ghetto Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2009 at 10:24 am

To Delusional, your comment
"but the refs don't put the ball in the net"

no, but they can take it out of the net on a goal that was clearly good. This is what cost them the game, including the additional time. If you added 10 seconds to the clock for each goal in the second half this is the time it took to set the ball up after San Ramon scored the goal to tie and kick off, well actually 8 seconds but we will give you the 2 extra seconds) 30 seconds for each yellow (that is stretching it)1 minute and 20 seconds should have been added the clock stopped at two minutes so an additional appx 2 minutes to extend. The clock ran over for 4 minutes 20 seconds. TOO MUCH TIME. Considering San Ramon's goal to tie came with just 10 seconds left in the game, coincidence? I think not.

Final score Foothill 4 San Ramon 3.

Yes, props to San Ramon for not giving up. Fans continue to be there for the teams at Foothill, I don't condone throwing things or swearing, but voicing your displeasure to the ALMIGHTY referees who have no reprucssion from their bad calls is okay. I believe it is okay to be passionate about your team and cheer and boo when appropriate.

FOOTHILL #1 with a record of 21 - 1 there is no one who can dispute this. You beat San Ramon not just two times in league in my opinion but 3 can't change the outcome, but know in your hearts you are the BEST.

Posted by D W, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2009 at 10:58 am

I admit I wasn't at the Foothill-SRV game, but from the comments on this blog and the Herald/Times storyline, this game smacked of pure politics - by the referees. How many injuries and yellow cards were there in the game? If there were very few if any, then the four minutes of stoppage time were clearly unjustified. Combine the fact that the economy is hurting all school districts and that most officials have daytime jobs and little rest to go along with the games they work, then that may explain why they blow their whistles and make judgments as if they had the world on their shoulders.

Boorish behavior in the stands are indeed all too common at nearly every high school, even in the Tri-Valley. And any soccer team that blows a pair of two-goal leads in the championship game usually doesn't deserve to win. But it helps no one to improve their sportsmanship - adults and children alike - when there may be evidence that the game-prolonging decisions by the referees are more politically blatant than they are visually interpretative. When the economy improves and all school districts can refund their athletic departments once again, let's hope there's more room to hire officials at a decent salary with respectable guidelines so that all three parties - the two teams and the officials - can have a fun, fulfilling learning experience where the games are appropriately called and fairly won on a consistent basis.

For now, before we rant any more, let's have an independent group review the game film and see how many discrepancies there really were. As for Eastbay High School Girls Soccer, I hate to be the barer of bad news, but as long as the Rage and all other youth clubs have to overextend itself to keep up with Danville's Mustang youth soccer league, the competition will be hard-pressed to end SRV's 4-year dynasty. SRV will continue to reload. It's up to Foothill, Amador, Carondelet, Monte Vista et al to strength their programs and match SRV's depth. Because West Danville isn't going to drop down.

To all parents who support youth soccer, there are more good than bad people in every community. I encourage you to weed out the bad seeds as best you can, and I thank all of you for continuing to make a difference in your respective areas. It's your camaradarie - and in many mother-daughter cases, your professional & personal hereditarily beautiful presence - that makes me feel more honored than ever to be a Pleasantonian. That's why no Oakland suburb comes close to Pleasanton in being the most close-knit city in the Eastbay.

Posted by Foothill parent, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 4, 2009 at 12:33 pm

The reason I started this thread is to encourage people to LET IT GO, to TURN THE PAGE and move on. Some of you have failed to do that, and the game ended three and a half days ago!

To "fan": You say that the refs blew the game, and "chose to let San Ramon have many extra chances". But Foothill had extra chances too. The SRV goalie had two fantastic saves in the last 10 minutes or so, goals that would have made the extra time moot. (She was all-league first-team, by the way.) I will not argue that "the parent's feelings were justified", if they felt that way, fine, this is America, feel any way you want. But booing the refs after the fact is classless on the high school level. The extra time may be "unheard of", but was announced to both coaches. I beleive the refs walked up to the stands because that is where they had put their stuff. I think they have the right to retreive their keys and drive home, right?

To "DW": "This game smacked of pure politics." Really? What, is the SRV coach and the referee next door neighbors? Seriously, you have no basis for this claim. And you want an independent group to review the game film? Can't we just let this go, can't we just say congrats to SRV for fighting hard and never giving up? Or do we continually have to investigate, because the outcome didn't go our way? SRV almost beat Foothill late in the regular season, and SRV did that playing a man down do to an ejection. Does it really surprise anyone that SRV played tough and never gave up? Foothill outshot SRV 18-7 and lost, but the Miracle on Ice 1980 US Olympic hockey team was outshot by the Russians 16-39, yet we never complain about that.

Please, people, show that we have class and dignity, show that we can walk away with our heads held high, despite a bummer of a loss and (I will agree) questionable refereeing.

Posted by Mork, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 4, 2009 at 6:02 pm

None of this passes the martian test.

That is, if a martian showed up and tried to figure what all the fuss was about,
he would be baffled.

Posted by Big mike, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 4, 2009 at 6:57 pm

We live in Pleasanton not Dublin. We are not Dublin scum so don't act like them!

Posted by Soccer Mom, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 4, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Bravo Foothill Parent!!! I wish half the people in this town had as much class as you. I have a son who plays soccer at the competitive level in Pleasanton and his little brother is right on his heals. Additionally, both boys play three other sports. My husband, who was a 4 year scholarship collegiate athlete (who no doubt had some crushing loses of his own due to "bad calls") and I have taught them from day one to show only respect for their coaches, fellow teammates, opponents and yes, even referees. We will tolerate nothing less from them. Sometimes we feel we are alone in our battle to teach grace and dignity on and off the playing field. Thank you, thank you, thank you for proving to us that we are not alone.

Posted by coach, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 7:44 am

So now we are all deciding how we have to behave, you can boo and how much, and it what way. What the hell is wrong with all of you? Do we live in a free country where you can express yourself or not? Feedback is important for umpires and referee's. We don't want idiots running games, we have enough of them in Washington DC.

Posted by D W, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm

To Foothill parent, postmarked 12:33PM 3/4:

This game is far from the only time we've read about referee complaints. It's hard to show class and walk with our heads high when every time a newspaper story or blog is posted, there is substantial evidence that games are officiated in a crooked manner. While SRV clearly deserved to continue their dynasty, no one can dispute that this region and the CIF continues to have problems finding unbiased people willing to follow the state referee guidelines and use proper judgment consistent with the rules and not because they want the game to be more interesting for whatever reasons or that they hold a bias for or against someone or some team.

Yes, Foothill cracked under pressure. Yes, officials are human, too. And yes, even under this terrible recession, there is always room for sportsmanship improvement. But please don't insult our intelligence and put this game in the same breath as the 1980 Olympics. Our community has indeed moved on while the Russians were scorned by the Iron Curtain and never forgiven. And Olympic officiating has always had stricter guidelines.

The soccer game is something the Foothill community must continue to deal with and I believe they are moving on just fine. But the officiating problems are getting worse in every sport, for the simple reason that we too often blow it off and don't even try to improve the conditions and enhance the quality of the people. Let's just say it is a wee bit unfair that while each school or club must improve its product, officiating can get away with no changes.

And we wonder why we see so many irate parents for reasons beyond their own frailties? Thank you, everybody, for caring.

Posted by Official, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 6, 2009 at 9:54 am

With all of the ref complaints in these posts why don't some of you who clearly understand the rules so well go out and get certified to become refs? This way you can guarantee what you think happened can't possibly occur again.

Oh that's right its easier to complain than to do something about it. Not to knock all parents by any stretch, but parent behavior in general is pretty aweful, beginning with youth and getting worse with high school. I see parents with little of no knowledge of a sport get on refs over calls they clearly don't understand, for those that do its pretty embarrasing.

Posted by Official, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 6, 2009 at 9:56 am

I'll also add, its pretty interesting what a community of expert soccer fans we belong to simply because our kids have become excellent players. 95% plus of the adults have NEVER played the game, but act like they fully understand the intrecacies (sp) of the games.

Posted by Official, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 6, 2009 at 9:56 am

I'll also add, its pretty interesting what a community of expert soccer fans we belong to simply because our kids have become excellent players. 95% plus of the adults have NEVER played the game, but act like they fully understand the intrecacies (sp) of the games.

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