There must have been excitement around the school as Stallworth Charter Academy fielded their first football team ever this year. To help fill out the roster, the Stockton, California, school accepted seven transfer students from nearby Franklin High School. Someone at Stallworth either didn’t do their homework, or hoped the school board wouldn’t do theirs, because the seven players had been at the center of a recruiting scandal that had rocked Franklin just last year. Whoops!
The seven players were among a group illegally recruited from American Samoa, whose ineligibility caused Franklin to forfeit 19 victories and receive a four-year playoff ban. Stallworth wishes they had gotten off that easily; the California Interscholastic Federation voted unanimously this week to suspend Stallworth’s entire athletic department for the next two years.
In September, [CIF Commissioner Pete] Saco said Stallworth Director Gayle Stallworth informed him that all of the team’s players - about 20 - recently had moved to different addresses.
“That’s just something that is very unusual in my 16 years on the job,” Saco said in September. “I normally get schools that get four or five bonafide changes of residence per year.”
Stallworth has a bit of a reputation, despite only existing for a few months (they changed their name from Samuel Hancock Christian after evidently deciding that football takes priority over Jesus). From a game report last week:
“That is probably the most bizarre game I’ve ever been involved with,” CBS coach Andre Johansen said. “I’m just glad we got through it and there weren’t any incidents.”
The first quarter alone took almost a hour to complete as officials continuously stopped the game to warn Stallworth coaches and players for verbally protesting virtually every call that went against them.
Stallworth is a charter school, which means it exists for the sole purpose of playing football. Without that, who knows what’s left for the kids?