An Arizona high school football player will miss his senior year homecoming game after being suspended for high-stepping into the end zone following a spectacular catch during a match up last week.
The celebratory move cost Cameron Torres, a senior at Peoria High School, his second unsportsmanlike penalty of the game – resulting in an ejection and an automatic game suspension, The Arizona Republic reported.
While an ejection cannot be appealed, Torres’ coach hopes the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) will overturn the ruling after watching a video of the play, the paper reported.
“Many times the politics of a situation won’t allow us do what’s right, even when we know it’s right. I don’t blame anyone. I just think a mistake was made,” Will Babbs, the coach, told the paper. “We all make mistakes, but we all don’t get the chance to correct them and we should when opportunity presents itself."
While Babbs acknowledged his player did have high knees, he said that is not against the rules and is “perplexed” about the call.
"He scored, ran to the back of the end zone and celebrated with his teammates,” he told the paper. “I didn't see it as taunting.”
The head of officials for the AIA Brian Gessner defended the referees, telling the paper “it’s a judgement call” and that “nobody works harder than these football officials.”
“I'm not going to overrule judgement calls. This is a championship crew,” he told the paper. “I'm not going to comment on their judgment."
The school has yet to hear back from the AIA after sending its version of events.