By Ray Hamill — In the wake of last week’s allegations of ugly behavior in the stands at Albee Stadium, more concerns have been voiced about the way H-DNL soccer fans conducted themselves over the weekend, with calls for spectators to tone down the verbal aggression and show more support.
Just days after Arcata girls head coach Patrick Stranahan came to the defense of his players after allegations of verbal abuse from opposing fans in a game at Eureka High, Fortuna girls coach Morgan Ferguson says there were also issues at Saturday’s game between the Huskies and Panthers at McKinleyville.
And it wasn’t the first time.
“We are having fan issues now in multiple games,” said Ferguson, an assistant coach with the Huskies, who added that both Fortuna and McKinleyville fans were “overly verbally aggressive.”
“The physical play has picked up as the season has slowly progressed,” Ferguson said. “Hopefully as parents, fans, coaches and officials we can get these issues under control for our players’ safety and our counties’ soccer communities going forward.”
Humboldt Sports reached out to McKinleyville girls coach Adam Canepa for his response, but we have not yet heard back.
Stranahan and his players were visibly upset about the way they were treated at Eureka on Wednesday, with two of the players breaking down emotionally on the field and having to be consoled by their teammates on the sideline.
“I’m totally disappointed in the Eureka High fans and stadium behavior” Stranahan said immediately after the game. “They were so volatile and abrasive, they actually caused two of my players to break down emotionally on the field.
“That’s not what sports is about. That’s not what soccer is about.”
Stranahan has reported the incident to the Arcata High administration and said his players have been counseled on the events.
New Eureka Athletic Director Ed Sonia said he has not heard anything about the issue yet as he transitions to his new position.