Chant from Torrey Pines student section draws protest

The CIF motto is “Pursuing Victory with Honor.”

Apparently during Wednesday’s boys basketball playoff game between Mission Bay and host Torrey Pines, the Torrey Pines student section crossed the line.

“I was focused on the game,” said Mission Bay coach Marshawn Cherry, “but I noticed a couple of Trump hats in the crowd.

“That’s OK. But we heard the student section chanting ‘Are you speaking English?’ during one exchange between the crowds. We had some parents that were very offended by that.”

Torrey Pines Principal Rob Coppo said he was shocked Thursday morning to receive calls with the same complaint.

“We’re very sensitive about the crowd,” Coppo said. “I meet with the referees before the game and ask them to let me know if they hear anything offensive coming from our students.

“We talk to our students about these kinds of things.

“The Mission Bay administrators helped us monitor the crowd. And honestly, I was impressed with both sides. It was loud and proud.”

Torrey Pines had a themed “USA Night” Wednesday. One football player was dressed in an American flag. Students were encouraged to wear white.

“I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but I didn’t hear it,” Coppo said. “That’s not the type of thing we condone. I would never allow our students to chant something like that. And if they did, I apologize for it.

“I walked out with the crowd and the Mission Bay people were mingling with our crowd and I didn’t hear one bad thing.

“That’s why I’m disappointed we got calls about this.”

Cherry, whose team lost 81-70 in a gym filled to capacity, stressed that what happened had nothing to do with the players or coaches from either side.

“Sure we want to beat them, but I have the utmost respect for (Torrey Pines coach) John Olive and their players,” Cherry said.

“Hopefully, this was an isolated thing, and it’s over.”

john.maffei@sduniontribune.com

In a follow-up interview about this story, Torrey Pines principal Rob Coppo said the school had not received any calls reporting the incident. Coppo and Dr. Robert Haley, superintendent of the San Dieguito Union High School District, said they are sensitive to such issues and reiterated that they were both at the game and did not hear any offensive chants.
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