STOCKTON — A Stockton city councilman’s lie is costing a youth football team their entire season.
Jesus Andrade admitted he lied about where he lives so his son could play football for a different team.
Parents are frustrated, but most of all they’re heartbroken for their kids. Their kids put in hard work, sweat, tears and determination only to be told they cannot face off in the playoffs because of Andrade’s mistake.
Angela Penaloza, whose son plays for the undefeated Cesar Chavez Junior Titans, spoke to FOX40 over the phone.
“I feel very blindsided,” Penaloza said. “My son feels like it was for nothing.”
Andrade’s son also plays for the team, even though their family lives “out of bounds.”
Motecuzoma Sanchez, a community activist, said several parents reached out to him with their concerns.
“Parents came to us and kind of gave us a story and let us know that an elected official, Jesus Andrade, fraudulently enrolled his son in a team outside of his district,” Sanchez said.
The discovery led to the forfeiture of all games Andrade’s son has played. The decision was made public on the Titan’s Facebook page.
The city councilman refused to do an on camera interview and, instead, he released the following statement:
“As a father, I felt that I was acting in the best interest of my son. In retrospect, I clearly should have done things differently. This is a life lesson learned for me, and it has served as a teaching opportunity for my children.”
Andrade also said in his statement that he apologized to the coaches and families when the incident first happened.
Many families appealed the ruling.
“Unfortunately, once they make a decision, we’re forced to live with it,” said Eric Duncan of the Weston Ranch Junior Cougars youth football team.
Parents say this mess could have been avoided if Andrade filled out a waiver,
“If he’d came to me I would have more than with no problems signed it off ‘cause, like I said, I haven’t had any problems with him,” Duncan said.
For parents, who invested time and effort into their kids’ games, the issue is not about politics. It is about the heartbreak their kids are now facing because of one person’s mistake.
“If this didn’t happen the kids could have got to where they wanted to be in the playoffs,” Penaloza said.