Rifle High School football team suspended for postseason
RIFLE — Rifle High School principal Todd Ellis confirmed today that the school’s football team has been suspended from postseason play for the upcoming 2015 football season.
The suspension, which is being enforced by the Colorado High School Activities Association, stemmed from a member of Align Multimedia, based in Rifle, having a videographer inside of the opponent’s team box during Rifle’s Class 3A football semifinal against Fort Morgan. Rifle advanced to the Class 3A state championship game — its second in three years — with its 35-7 victory over the Mustangs.
Officially, CHSAA has placed Rifle’s football program on restriction. Rifle High’s football coach Damon Wells will also have to sit out the first game of the upcoming season as part of the penalty, which was explained in a letter sent to the Post Independent and Rifle Citizen Telegram.
“It’s not right that they punish the kids and the coaches,” Ellis said. “But they can’t punish the administrators, and we’re the ones who were responsible for not policing the sidelines enough.”
Align Multimedia, formerly Spruce Creek Multimedia, has produced football highlight videos for the team for years but is not affiliated with the school.
Ryan Mackley, a co-owner of Align, made no comment when reached by phone today. Phone calls to CHSAA Assistant Commissioner Harry Waterman and Rifle High Athletic Director Troy Phillips were not immediately returned. Also not immediately returning a phone call was Kyle Blues, Fort Morgan High School’s athletic director.
Rifle has won four consecutive Class 3A Western Slope League championships, 21 in all, and has won three state championships in program history.
This story will be updated.
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