The Rifle High School Mighty Bears football team has been banned from post-season play next season by the Colorado High School Activities Association, and coach Damon Wells tells the Post Independent he is none too happy.
“We would never, ever cheat,” the Rifle head coach said. “We have never cheated, and there has never been a time when we would even consider cheating.”
According to the Post Independent, the ruling came after a volunteer Rifle videographer was seen inside opponent Fort Morgan's coaching box when the two teams met in a Class 3A semifinal in Rifle on Nov. 22. Principal Todd Ellis said there's no disputing what happened, but wishes the players didn't have to pay the price for what he characterized as an administrative oversight.
Rifle High School did not properly monitor media during a contest. Consequently, our football team has been placed on restriction. This means that our team will be prohibited from participation in any post-season play.
That's a big deal for a team boasting at 50-11 record over the past five years.
Rifle has won four consecutive Class 3A Western Slope League championships, 21 in all, and has won three state championships in program history. The most recent came in 2004, when Rifle won the state title as a No. 16 seed in the 16-team tournament bracket.