Basketball

Bizarre turn of events in L4 involving allegations of possible racist behavior

By Ray Hamill — It’s a day the Little 4 will want to forget.

And in particular, it’s a day the Ferndale Wildcats will want to forget.

And when all was said and done, the Hoopa Valley Warriors were crowned Little 4 champions in the most bizarre circumstances that unfortunately had little to do with the play on the court.

One day after widespread allegations that Ferndale fans — and members of the varsity boys basketball team — had made derogatory and possible racist remarks toward the Hoopa players in a girls basketball game at Ferndale High, the school’s boys varsity team refused to travel to Hoopa for a Friday showdown, forfeiting the game and handing the Warriors at least a share of the Little 4 championship unopposed.

No official reason was given for the forfeit, and Ferndale Athletic Director and boys basketball head coach Clint McClurg did not return multiple phone calls from Humboldt Sports on Friday to clarify why they did not make the trip, or how the Cats are dealing with the allegations, nor to deny there were racist remarks made.

“… Ferndale students mocked and hollered horrible things at our girls on the court last night …” read one of the comments on Kide-FM Hoopa’s Facebook page.

The Ferndale JV team did make the trip on Friday.

No Apology

The forfeit, coupled with St. Bernard’s 71-57 win at South Fork on Friday night, guarantees the 4-0 Warriors at least a share of the league title for the first time in five years.

The Warriors, however, most definitely wanted the game to go ahead.

“Ferndale didn’t want to travel for safety reasons,” Hoopa Valley head coach Tyler Mitchell said. “I don’t think anyone was going to treat them in a bad way. We had a plan.”

According to Mitchell, the two school principals had agreed that before the game Ferndale would make a formal apology for their fans’ behavior the night before, and the Warriors were happy to put the incident behind them and get back to basketball.

The controversy began when a section of the Ferndale fanbase was accused of making derogatory remarks toward the Hoopa players during Thursday night’s game.

Hoopa girls varsity head coach Floyd Billings said he did not hear what was said, but added that a number of the Ferndale varsity boys players were involved, and at one stage had crowded onto the court hindering the Hoopa girls as they attempted to start play and shouting at them.

“My girls were rattled,” he said.

It’s also not the first accusations of racist behavior at Ferndale High.

In 2011, The Redwoods Times published a story titled Racism alleged at Ferndale football game; Allegation is third in a year against Wildcat fans.

More than anything, Mitchell and his players were disappointed they lost the opportunity to play a valuable game in their preparation for the playoffs, as well as an all-important home gate, one of just four all year for the well-traveled program.

“I’m sure it’s not everyone in the town,” Mitchell said of the allegations. “Just a couple of bad apples.”

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13 replies »

    • When is the HCOE going to suspend this school from all sports? I don’t believe in this there is a few bad apples BS. that just tells me that the rest of the school is complicit and has become complacent with this racism that happens at every home game in Ferndale when Hoopa travels there.

      I mean seriously read the comments below this Behavior has become so commonplace, that everybody isn’t surprised and expect this type of behavior. If there is any best example of this kind of complicit attitude it would be what happened in Washington DC recently.

      Just shut down ferndale’s athletic programs for a year or two, come back on probation, and go from there

      • So you’re one of them kind of teachers that would punish the whole classroom because the guilty student isn’t speaking out and the rest of the students don’t know who it was, or had nothing to do with whatever the situation came to be…

        It would be an injustice to do that to a school that has good student-athletes too!

        The bad apples do exist and it’s not the whole school… but the BS is the principal saying that the students are embarrassed… let’s repeat that again the principal is saying that the students are embarrassed…

        … that is the biggest crock of all… embarrassed

    • The whole town is not racist… and with that written can you name one racist in Ferndale?

      What happened that was racist that’s the question…

  1. It seems ferndale also likes to pee on walls of other schools. I won’t say names but one young man peed on south forks wall at the last game. And nothing was done about it..

  2. three of Hoopa’s girls came over to the Ferndale boys side, stood above them, taunting and even spitting on them, and then one of the Hoopa girls went so far as to challenging one of the Ferndale girls that was playing, and while she was still on the court, to “meet her in the parking lot”.
    So before you prejudge Ferndale as a bunch of racists, which they get called without any provocation, maybe know the whole story first.
    One sided stories are not helpful. And yes, I did read that McClurg didn’t respond, which is a shame.

  3. Geo is the kid who pissed on our school. I’ll sY his name. It’s geo. Ferndale better do something about this. Just found out and rallying up the crew. Unecepable.

  4. For crying out loud, more of this racist crap…want to read quotes first…

    Hupa is not dangerous, but Eureka is…

    Girls- are more and more confronting these days like boys…spitting, threats to fight…STUPID!

    • Please name them. Oh wait you can’t because you don’t really know them. You just hide behind a fake name on social media….troll.

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