Eligibility Ruling Forces Orange to Forfeit Games

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Orange High football team fell from the ranks of the undefeated when it forfeited two victories, Principal Bob Lewis confirmed Tuesday.

The Panthers used an ineligible player--a starting defensive back--in victories over Newport Harbor and Saddleback.

Coach Dick Hill said the player, whom he did not identify, gave the school a false address. Last week, school administrators learned the player is living in Santa Ana and had not made an inter-district transfer.

"There's never an easy way to handle something that no one likes," Hill said. "But we have to take things as they are and go on, and teach the kids the same thing."

Lewis informed the Southern Section office and the two high schools of the violation and forfeitures on Monday.

Orange's record falls to 1-2. Newport Harbor's improves to 2-1 and Saddleback's to 1-2.

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The investigation into recent vandalism at Western High apparently neared a close Tuesday when the Cypress football team resumed practice.

Sources said practice was suspended Friday, Saturday and Monday by Anaheim Union High School District Superintendent Cynthia Grennan, who was hoping the students responsible for the Sept. 14 damage to Western's football field and campus would step forward.

The team resumed practice after the issue was resolved Tuesday, but neither school administrators nor Grennan would return phone calls to say how it was resolved.

The letters CC were burned into the field and profanities were painted around campus before Western's 27-6 victory over Cypress on Sept. 15.

Western Athletic Director Jim Howell said he has not been informed that the students involved with the vandalism have stepped forward. Anaheim police Lt. Ted Labahn said Tuesday morning that he could not release any information about the case.

Staff writers Chris Foster and Wendy Witherspoon contributed to this story.

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