The Salinas High School football team was on a roll for their 2019 season, with only one loss against Clovis High School by the end of October. By Nov. 8, they snagged their third consecutive title as the Pacific Coast Athletic League (PCAL)-Gabilan from Aptos High School, with a 42-28 win.
Next in their line of sight: the Central Coast Section (CCS) Division II quarterfinal playoffs on Nov. 15 against Oak Grove High School, the first step in winning the CCS championship title. But not everyone in the team made it onto the field. That’s because three varsity players weren’t allowed to suit up due to “disciplinary action” taken by the school, according to a statement by Salinas Union High School District.
A Salinas High student who spoke to the Weekly on the condition of anonymity was on campus Nov. 14 when there was a K-9 unit in the parking lot. “[Salinas High is] always doing surprise searches,” the student says. She adds the search happened during her calculus class, where one of her classmates was asked to leave class and bring his keys with him. That student was able to return to class, but later confirmed that his car, along with other students’ cars, were searched for drugs.
The Salinas Police Department confirms it was not their K-9 units that conducted the search and they did not arrest anyone in relation to it. SPD spokesperson Miguel Cabrera speculates that it was probably a contractor: “[Salinas PD] wouldn’t show up to a school campus like, ‘Surprise, we’re here for a search,’ not in this case.” As for discipline, Cabrera says, “we follow the district’s lead.”
SUHSD confirms they hire the services of a contractor to do these type of searches.
Three players down, the Salinas varsity team and their fans didn’t appear to have lost hope or confidence by the Nov. 15 playoff game, with a robust student section cheering in the stands. But it wasn’t enough to win against Oak Grove, with a final score of 20-26. Salinas High coach Steve Zenk did not respond to multiple requests for comment.