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Davis gets boot

June 02, 2006|By Dominic Perrone

COSTA MESA ? The Davis Elementary fifth- and sixth-grade team stepped onto the field at the Costa Mesa High track for its final Daily Pilot Cup game against Lincoln, ending the seven-year tournament's lone controversy.

It was a Silver Division game and there lay the problem. Tournament director Kirk McIntosh said Davis applied to have only teams in the lower Silver Division, but was denied. McIntosh added that Davis then entered teams in the Gold Division, but the fifth- and sixth-grade boys team did not show up for any of its games.

McIntosh said he disqualified Davis when it was brought to his attention, after consulting with the three-member tournament board and the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, all of which were in favor.

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"That's their A team," McIntosh said. "They circumvented the rules by placing their team there. There is no reason for a school as big as Davis to be in the Silver Division. The only reason they want to be in the Silver Division is to win."

Davis Coach Guillermo Sanchez said he was not happy with the decision.

"My concern is we spent three months with these kids, every night sweating. To punish these kids isn't right," said Sanchez, who is in his third year coaching the team. "We don't have any club soccer players. This is not a Gold team. From my 20 years of coaching experience, this is a good Silver team. This is for the kids. We're trying to make the kids the best possible citizens while having respect for the game."

Davis won the game, 9-0, though it will go down as a forfeit victory for Lincoln. Davis had won its two previous games, 1-0 and 4-0.

"Right now, they are heartbroken," Sanchez said.

McIntosh said the lower division is for smaller schools, some of which do not have a sixth grade, and schools' second-best or third-best team. Lincoln's team was comprised solely of fifth-graders, while Davis was a mix of both.

"They should understand what the division is for," McIntosh said.

McIntosh said Davis was not the only school denied having its top team in the Silver Division. Last year Davis' top team was in the Silver Division and it won the championship. The main reason McIntosh said he took action this year and not last was because it was pointed out to him.

"All of their games were lopsided last year," McIntosh said. "The Silver Division is to create a competitive environment."

Bryan Ruiz led Davis with four goals. David Campos and Jorge Dela Cruz had two goals apiece. Oscar Reyes had a goal and an assist and Apolinar Bailon added an assist.

Davis goalkeeper Jose Barajas said he enjoyed the game.

"It's fun being able to play and work together and figure out a game plan to be a winning team," Barajas said. "When we started we were just a couple of kids who liked soccer." Lincoln's Campbell Woods enjoyed playing against a bigger Davis team.

"They were aggressive," Woods said. "I show no fear. I wait for them to make a mistake, then I charge."

Lincoln is 2-1 because Davis officially forfeited the game.

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