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Ruling Stands; Laguna Hills' Season Is Over

November 14, 1998|DAVE McKIBBEN

Laguna Hills' football season officially ended Friday.

A group of players' parents lost their bid for a temporary restraining order against a Southern Section ruling that said Laguna Hills must forfeit five victories for using an ineligible player.

Laguna Hills principal Wayne Mickaelian's last-ditch effort to convince other Pacific Coast League principals that the Hawks deserve to be awarded the league's third playoff spot also failed.

David Shores, who represented the parents, said he presented a strong case to Orange County Superior Court Judge Tully Seymour.

"The judge said he was very torn," Shores said. "He seemed more than a little sympathetic and he told me afterward he was emotionally drained."

Shores said about 10 parents and Coach Bruce Ingalls were in the courtroom when the decision was announced.

"The judge believed that judicial intervention could cause more harm than good in this case, and that's what it came down to," Shores said. "He also said he might have felt a lot differently if the school were involved in the case rather than just the parents."

Mickaelian met with other league principals for 90 minutes Friday afternoon to lay the groundwork for a night meeting at Laguna Beach High. But Mickaelian said he could not persuade them to meet again.

"It was the basically the same thing the judge said," Mickaelian said. "They said, 'We've got rules and regulations for a reason. Are we going to contest every league title and decide it like this?' They just didn't want to open a can of worms."

Laguna Hills won what would have been its seventh game Thursday night against Estancia, but with the five forfeits, the Hawks finished 2-8 and 2-3 in league.

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