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CIF vacates a high school’s basketball title after tortilla-throwing incident

Coronado High School
Coronado High School in Coronado, Calif., was stripped of its division regional basketball championship by the CIF following the tortilla throwing incident during a June 20 game with Escondido’s Orange Glen High School.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Coronado High School’s basketball division regional championship was vacated and the school has been placed on probation by the California Interscholastic Federation following the tortilla throwing incident after the June 19 game with Escondido’s Orange Glen High School.

“In this instance, there is no doubt the act of throwing tortillas at a predominately Latino team is unacceptable and warrants sanctions,” the CIF said in an announcement Thursday afternoon.

Coronado High is on probation until 2024 and was stripped of its chances to hold postseason games until 2023.

All Coronado High administrators, athletic directors, coaches and student-athletes will be required to take a workshop on sportsmanship, which will include racial and cultural sensitivity training. The administrators and athletic directors also will be required to undergo game management training.

Everyone who attended Saturday’s basketball game between the Coronado High Islanders and Orange Glen High Patriots knew it was going to be a classic, the kind of matchup prep dreams are made of. What wasn’t expected were the flying tortillas.

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Until Coronado High completes this training, no Coronado High athletic team will be allowed to host postseason contests.

The Coronado Unified School Board voted unanimously last week to fire Coronado boys basketball coach JD Laaperi.

In its announcement, the CIF “strongly encouraged” Coronado High to work with Orange Glen to create a positive school relationship. CIF suggested the two schools share in a “restorative justice” exercise and work on community service projects together.

“While consequences are warranted for such an egregious action as throwing tortillas at a predominantly Latino team and the sanctions below are being levied on the athletic program at Coronado High School, we must all be aware that behavior does not normally change with sanctions alone,” the CIF said. “The path towards real change comes with the development of empathy for those who are on the receiving end of this type of degrading and demeaning behavior, no matter the proffered intent of that behavior.”


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