Warriors Football home opener canceled due to health and safety issues


The El Camino College Warriors Football team takes the practice field at Murdock Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 7. It’s the second to last practice before they face the Bakersfield College Renegades, one week after their season opener was canceled. (William Renfroe | The Union)

The El Camino College Warriors’ home opener against the Santa Monica College Corsairs was abruptly canceled on Saturday, Sept. 3, devastating the El Camino College football team, staff and community.

The Warriors’ head coach, Gifford Lindheim, said in an interview with The Union that he received word of the game’s cancelation after the final practice before game day against Santa Monica College.

When asked why the game was canceled, Coach Lindheim cited an emailed correspondence he received from El Camino’s Athletic Director, Jeff Miera.

Miera said that he also received the message after Thursday’s practice. He was unable to give a reason behind the cancellation but said they were unable to field a team.

The Union staff contacted Southern California Football Association’s Commissioner Jim Satoris for further insight into the reason behind the game’s cancelation.

Sartoris was informed by Santa Monica that their football team was unable to play on Sept. 3 because they did not have enough available players due to injuries, in addition to issues with eligibility and status questions. Santa Monica College felt it was a health and safety issue.

Miera and Lindheim both shared Sartoris’ sentiment that the students are most impacted.

“The student-athletes are the ones that are that are being penalized,” Miera said.

Coach Lindheim expressed his disappointment and his intentions on focusing on game one of week two to The Union.

“We were all extremely disappointed that Santa Monica College could not field a team for game one of the football season. They were the only team in the state that couldn’t,” Lindheim said. “With that being said, we have to turn our attention to what’s in front of us and that’s a very formidable opponent in Bakersfield College.”

El Camino running-back Marceese Yetts was asked about his opinion on the canceled game, Yetts, keeping his chin close to his chest said that he and his teammates were “disappointed”, but that he doesn’t think it will affect his game, and if anything, it only made him “hungrier.”

The Union will be in attendance at El Camino’s now-season opener against a heavy-duty competitor, the Bakersfield College Renegades, on Saturday, September 10.

The Union reached out to the Santa Monica College football head coach, assistant coach, athletic director and assistant director for comment, but they did not respond to The Union’s inquiries.


Editor’s Note: Updated feature photo placement 10 Sept. 2022 at 4:03 p.m.