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After Further Review, Brea-Western Game Is Postponed

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

They attempted to hold a Southern Section playoff game Friday night at Western High. Problem was, apparently no one told the officials.

Western’s Division IX semifinal against Brea Olinda was delayed about 1 hour 15 minutes after the scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff before officials from both schools decided it would be unreasonable to hold the game with a makeshift officiating crew composed of officials who had never before worked with each other.

The game will be made up at 7 tonight at Western. Admission is free.

The mix-up may have been caused by a communication breakdown after a schedule change. Originally, the game was scheduled for tonight, but coaches from both teams met at the Southern Section office last Saturday and agreed to change the date to Friday night.

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Section officials were responsible for informing game officials of the change, athletic officials from both schools said. The game officials did not call Western Athletic Director Bill Murvin during the school week to confirm their assignment, but Murvin said that was not unusual.

Longtime Brea Athletic Director Ron Hampton was among several officials who criticized the section office for its inaccessibility during the confusion. The section office was closed and there was no emergency contact number.

“We should have some way of communicating with somebody to get some help out here,” Hampton said. “I’ve never had problems like this. In all these years there’s nothing that makes you be able to anticipate something like this.”

Added Murvin: “If they have playoff games, they ought to have someone over there to answer questions. What if Brea had a bus accident on the way over here? Who would we call to reschedule the game?”

The first signs of trouble came when the out-of-county officiating crew was nowhere to be seen 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff. Shortly after the scheduled kickoff came and went, Western athletic officials scrambled to reach an assignor of officials who could locate nearby referees available to work the game.

A few officials had shown up by 8 p.m., according to Western Principal Doug Munsey, and several more were en route.

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Theoretically, Brea Olinda Principal Doug Kimberly said, the game could have started around 9 after the players, who sat restlessly in their locker rooms during the delay, completed abbreviated warm-up routines.

But it took the schools’ principals, athletic directors and coaches only a few minutes to decide to postpone the game after huddling to discuss whether to play the game late into the night with a substitute officiating crew or postpone it until tonight.

“To me, to get a makeshift official crew here--two guys from Long Beach and two guys from here or wherever they’re talking about doing--in a game like this makes no sense,” Brea Coach Jon Looney said. “Those guys need to work together. To take a chance on having a call cost someone a game makes no sense.”

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