First and foremost, I would like to say that yes I am a father of one of the boys from Cypress Bay that clearly understands how to lose gracefully and respectfully. I am a sports fan plain and simple and not a homer by any degree. I am in the funeral/cemetery business and clearly understand that life itself is much more important than a game. I try and explain to my son that losing is just part of the life and it is a learning lesson but when you lose for the right reasons. How do I explain this type of loss to a kid that has put his heart and soul into four years awaiting for this moment to arise to be taken away by many unjust calls. Thus blowing all the hard work and dedication all these kids have put forth as well as instilling the values of good sportsmanship along with learning how to be a fair and graceful loser to playing the game the right/honest way.
I am extremely taken back and appalled by the display of unfairness expressed by the referees in Saturday night’s debacle at the Citrus Bowl. This was probably one of the worst if not the worst array of calls, especially the reversal of the interception turned back because of a bogus call of roughing the passer. I am sure you saw the call more than once as sports writers, high school insiders and others around the country along with ESPN Analysts called it one of the biggest blunders of all time thus causing a team that clearly won to lose.
As an avid sports fan and season ticket holder for the Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes and Miami Heat for many years, I only seen this happen once in my 49 years and that was when the 2003 Miami Hurricanes lost to the Ohio State Buckeyes on the still most controversial call in sports history. After speaking with and reading many referees comments over the past 24 hours it is clearly apparent that this call will rank right up there if not equal to that call back in 2003.
Your Association for High Schools should be ashamed and embarrassed by this display of unfairness shown by these referees and some action should be taken. A letter of explanation should be sent to the entire coaching staff along with each athlete that participated in this game.
Further, as I was waiting for my son to come out of the locker room, I had the unfortunate incident to witness many of the Apopka fans taunt the families of Cypress Bay football team as they yelled and pointed in their faces words I could never discuss. Even police officers and security guards had to come over as they said that this was an embarrassment to the entire Apopka team.
In closing, I am just a fair and equitable person that still believes in the good of the sport but realizes that life will never be fair no matter who is in charge. I am sorry this had to happen but I am also thankful for the way in which the Cypress Bay coaches and players conducted themselves under these circumstances. It is a true testament of the great coaching job and the good sportsmanship instilled in these great young men. They were and are the winners and always will be even though the outcome is different on paper. They will go on and face other endeavors of life but I can certainly say that they will never ever forget the call that changed all the lives and outcome of the Florida 8A State Championship at the Citrus Bowl on December 15, 2012.
Respectfully because I care,