Inglewood High School is making history with its revamped football program led by head coach Mil’von James, but the team’s recent 106-0 win over rival Morningside High School sparked conversation across the state on whether or not the blowout win was true sportsmanship.
Inglewood is known to be the “City of Champions,” but in 2018-19 Inglewood High School’s football team went 0-10 for the season, losing games and community attention.
Following the Oct. 29 Inglewood-Morningside game, the Los Angeles Times reported on Morningside High’s head coach Brian Collins’ disappointment with Inglewood’s decision to dominate the school. The coach referred to the win as a “classless” move.
For decades, Inglewood and Morningside, located just miles apart in the tight-knit city of
Inglewood, have been long-time rivals. Inglewood resident and alumna Staci Toles explained how Inglewood tried its best to play a fair game, even going so far as to remove the team’s starting players and replace them with junior varsity athletes.
“At the end of the second quarter Inglewood’s coach asked Morningside’s coach if they wanted to end the game, but they said no,” Toles said. “He asked if they wanted to run the clock, no again.”
It was up to Morningside coaches to decide whether or not to forfeit the game, Toles said.
Inglewood principal Debbie Tate released a statement on behalf of the school and team, apologizing to Morningside.
Inglewood Unified School District County Administrator Erika Torres also released a statement apologizing after the game.
“We at the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) are saddened beyond words by the events that transpired at the football game Friday between Inglewood and Morningside high schools,” Torres said. “We will conduct a full investigation and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that a similar outcome never happens again under an IUSD athletic program.”
With all eyes now on Inglewood, there is still more to come regarding the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) investigation and whether or not there will be penalties following the 106-0 blowout.
James, who joined the football program in 2018, said he wanted to create a new culture that focused on discipline, detail and academics.
“My ultimate goal is to get kids to college first, that is my primary focus before anything else,” James said.
On Oct. 28 all-star quarterback Justyn Martin announced to his family and followers that he will be taking his talents to UCLA on a D1 scholarship. The senior broadcasted his choice of UCLA over Mississippi and Michigan, two other NCAA Division I programs, during a press conference on CBS and his social media channels.