The two best football teams in the Coliseum League went head-to-head for the L.A. Division II City Section football title last December. Hawkins High School was undefeated and equipped with some of the nation’s best prospects. Los Angeles High had the defensive power to contain the Hawks to clinch a 36-6 victory.
This title matchup has been voided for both teams according to the CIF in a statement released this month. The Los Angeles Romans “will vacate its 2016 Division II football championship” and Hawkins will also give up their runner-up honor.
Both teams benefited from ineligible players during the title game and throughout the season. Thus, both programs had to forfeit all but one win from their games in 2016. The Hawks 13-1 overall record was reduced to 1-13 while Romans’ 11-4 record at 1-14.
Principals of both Los Angeles and Hawkins were reached but did not respond to phone calls by print time.
The forfeits edge up Dorsey High to the top of Coliseum League football in 2016 with a 11-3 record and Crenshaw High in second with a 7-5 overall record.
Despite the violations, Hawkins and L.A. High produced players worthy of college football programs like the University of Idaho, USC and UCLA.
The football program at Hawkins was shrouded in troubled triumph in recent years. While routing schools Friday night after Friday night, Hawkins was under investigation for the number of transfer students in the program and ineligible players getting playing time.
In 2014, Hawkins was under fire for playing ineligible players, resulting in a playoff ban for the 2015 season. Through it all, Hawkins would leave teams scoreless and champion programs that have been successful for generations.
Players on both teams have been named on the 2015 and 2016 L.A. All-City Division II first and second team. Los Angeles head coach Eric Scott won Division II Coach of The Year and Hawkins players earned Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in 2016.
Scott stepped down from coaching the Romans to become a wide receivers coach for the Nevada Wolf Pack in December 2016, two Romans seniors will play for the university starting this fall. Hawkins coach, Mil’Von James was let go by LAUSD in February.
Both programs will be on probation for two years, starting in the 2017-18 school year; however, they are eligible to compete in the 2017 playoffs. Amid the coaching transition, both teams reached Division I gameplay in the off-season, with the chance to face San Pedro, Dorsey, or Narbonne in the postseason.