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UPDATED: Oakland forfeits game to Castlemont, Gifford fired

Here’s an updated post, which is the same as what ran in today’s paper, from after receiving an e-mailed letter from Nelson Gifford. Sorry I couldn’t edit this earlier, I was tied up last night and I’ll be out of town this weekend. – JD

The Oakland High football team is forfeiting Saturday’s scheduled home game against Castlemont, and Nelson Gifford wrote in a letter to Bay Area News Group that he has been fired as the Wildcats coach.

An e-mail from the Oakland Athletic League to Bay Area News Group said the game is being forfeited “due to reasons that cannot be discussed at this time.”

Gifford wrote that he was let go Wednesday, adding that “the specific reasons behind my firing remained unclear.” Reached Thursday evening, Oakland athletic director Carlos Sutton confirmed Gifford’s dismissal but declined further comment.

The Wildcats and Knights were both seeking their first wins. Oakland will now drop to 0-7 overall and 0-2 in the OAL. Castlemont is now 1-5 and 1-1. Oakland still has three games scheduled, including one Oct. 30 against Fremont at Curt Flood Field.

The league also announced that the Skyline and Oakland Tech junior varsity teams will play each other (alternating home and road games) for the remaining four weeks of the season.

The other four OAL schools were unable to field enough players for JV teams. The league typically requires at least four teams for there to be a season but worked it out to allow the two existing teams to complete a full schedule.

ORIGINAL POST

The Oakland High football team is forfeiting Saturday’s scheduled home game against Castlemont, according to an e-mail from the Oakland Athletic League. The game is being forfeited “due to reasons that cannot be discussed at this time.”

The league also announced that the Skyline and Oakland Tech junior varsity teams will play each other (alternating home and road games) for the remaining four weeks of the season. The other four OAL schools were unable to field enough players for JV teams and the league typically requires at least four teams for their to be a season, but worked it out to allow the two existing teams to complete a full schedule.

Skyline will host on Saturday and Nov. 6 and Tech will host Oct. 30 and Nov. 13. All games are at 11 a.m.

Jimmy Durkin

I cover mostly San Jose State football for the San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group, but also fill in from time to time with the 49ers, Warriors, A's and Giants.

  • allRoads

    Plain Truth:

    I concur. The parent/booster/alumni/admin support is overwhelming. They have history, passion and a lot of pride at Mack. No doubt.

    But here is the BUT. If your going to hire a head coach, that leader has to be able to create that type of support as a primary part of their job. Not as some part-time or once-in-a-while focus. For a HC, the football part is important, but the Program level building is the priority.

  • Paydirt

    It is Jerry Brown’s fault. The former mayor did nothing for Oaktown.

    Seriously, it comes down to poor leadership in a very difficult environment. The environmental factors will not be overcome without strong leadership, and the potential of many student-athletes will not be realized. Those with strong leadership thrive despite environmental factors, and those with weak leadership do not progress.

  • John

    Paydirt that’s why we vote Marcie hodge for mayor she will change that.

  • John

    Vote for Marcie hodge for Oakland mayor for this to change.

  • T-Mobile 44

    There has to be a change at Oakland High! The AD must step down!!! He has done a terrible job!!! They need to hire a coach that is going to be there for more than two years.

  • Bradonbeard

    U know Oakand High is the only school to fire a footbal coach to my kowledge. No other school in the OAL has fired a coach! Wow, whats up over there?

  • Creme de la creme

    #50 and #51…You two are so right

  • T-Mobile 44

    Why did coach Gifford get fired?

  • brandonbeard

    No one knows at this point! probably just disagreed on something with the admin!LOL! And they said you gotta go, too sad!

  • Humco

    Does anyone know if Oakland High will play the rest of their games this year?

  • allstar coach

    First of all one reason to play sports in highschool is to get a div 1 scholarship alot of these kids no matter what school they attend or neighbor hood they live can’t afford 4yrs of college. year long work out programs arent the problem I’d rather have my kiod there instead of playing video games all day or worse in these streets.I can think of alot worse thing to do than working out for 3hrs a day.

    The problem we are facing is that it takes a villager to raise a child. Head coaches must push education more adminstrations need to support all athletics more with progress reports on grades and behavior in class. coaches must be willing to punish there best plAYERS for insubordination. the parents must get involved ALOT MORE! AND SUPPORT THE COACHING STAFF AND SCHOOL! Dont be the enalber. three components must come together as one ebal schools are successful because they have that and it starts from when the kids are 9-10 playing in the feeder programs they support. those kids no where there headed and what there goals are when they get to highschool and it can happen for any school who wants to put the time in.with the help of parents you can develope a support system and your future coaches and players!

  • ManDown

    Amen to that allstar coach

  • brandonbeard

    I think O-High will play their remaining games, it was never said that they forfeited the season. So they should play Saturday!

  • bhsfan

    sad how the oal is so down, but like a few people said on here most of the problem is the o high AD its been that way for some time now. the kids need to b thought of first and the qb at o-high is a very good player

  • Father Time

    They have two of the assistant coaches who had been really running the program last few years back along with two alumni to help finish the season.

  • T-Mobile 44

    Oakland High should win tomorrow!

  • Wildcats

    The Wildcats are finally in good hands Coach Murph and Coach Goree will bring back the winning tradition bacak to O-High.

  • Father Time

    They had been in good hands the last 4 years with coach Murph and coach Cooper over there