Anger Over East High’s Forfeit to Ames

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The football field at East High School was dark Friday night. The Ames School District decided not to allow players to play at East after rumors about possible violence.

"The police have informed us there's no reason not to have a football game tonight," says Des Moines School District spokesman Phil Roeder. "But people in Ames and Boone seem to think they know more about what's going on in Des Moines than we do. It's just wrong."

East High football player Quincy Green is upset about the decision. "Yeah, I wanted to play tonight. I mean, it's 100 percent safe here. Cops always come to our games and watch and it's always safe," Green says.

Ames Superintendent Tim Taylor was not available for an on-camera comment, but says he made the decision after he heard about the threats at East. He says his district offered alternatives, but Des Moines was not willing to meet those terms, so the Iowa High School Athletic Association ruled East will forfeit.

"The athletic association was essentially forcing our hand. They gave us three choices, we could either play a game tonight in Ames, originally scheduled for East, we could play at East on Saturday but under the stipulation it had to be in the day light, even though East has plenty of light, or we forfeit," Roeder said.

So East is taking the forfeit. "Sometimes you gotta draw a line in the sand when something's wrong and we felt that the way we're being treated by both Ames and, worse by the Athletic Association, was simply wrong," Roeder said.

Green says, right or wrong, it hurts. "We practiced hard this whole week," he said, "It's not even our fault either. It's not even us."


  • Mike Cee

    I can’t say that I blame them. I wouldn’t want to go into that neighborhood on a good day. I can’t imagine going into that area when there has been a threat of violence.

    However, I invite Phil Roeder to back up his bluster. If you really feel that the area is safe, step away from your west of town perch and wander the East High neighborhood after dark. Alone. Unarmed.

  • Bill

    they should have arranged it to be a ‘scratch’, (neither side’s record is affected) not a forfeit

    and this is coming from someone who favors Ames

    • Bill

      I think many students, at least a long time ago understood that sign, with a wink to mean ‘Ames High gets High’

      • iamjoespinkyfinger

        The biggest problem with Des Moines is that it’s obviously a conclave of petty little children whose mommy and daddy raised them to believe the shallow and mundane are the most important things in life. Get over yourselves, you aren’t that special, and mostly you get laughed at a lot.

      • Bill

        Actually, re-reading Hugo’s remark, he says ‘Been a long time since I’ve been to that HS in Ames’, so he may not necessarily be an alum of Ames High. But I am

    • Bill

      fully agree – it should be a scratch for them, at most. A team that doesn’t choose to play, no matter how valid the reason, should not be awarded a forfeit from the other team. And I”m an AHS alum

  • Bill

    so all you have to do, if you’re one game away from your goal, is say ‘I heard rumors of violence’, not show up, and the cancelled game is counted in your season record

    not saying that’s what happened here, but what about the future?

    dangerous precedent

  • Alan A

    Mike Cee your ignorance is unbelievable. As a person who grew up on that side of town. Still go there frequently, you need to step into that side of town and learn some common sense. This game would have gone off without a problem. It’s simply overprivliged white people (which is also my race) scared of diversity. I think it’s BS that a school is too scared to come to a side of town and that makes the school who is “scary” have to forfeit. If anyone should have to take a loss it should be the pansies who won’t come play. Just because it doesn’t fall into the white washed suburbia doesn’t mean it’s any less important. I love where I come from because it taught me how to live in the real world. Don’t trash a place if you do not know of what you speak. You won’t be robbed walking down the street, I know I made the walk hundreds of times unarmed and never had one issue. GV university seems to think the area is fine and that’s plenty of privileged kids who I also bet have never had a problem.

  • Jeff Clothier

    This amounts to a bias crime and a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    The community of Ames has been the scene of rioting, public destruction and looting in the past months such that their historic festival celebrating the “civilizing” power of higher education had to be permanently cancelled.

    Perhaps it should be East High kids who should be fearful of playing at Ames.

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