In the state playoffs, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) University High knocked off Delray (Fla.) American Heritage School, officially quashing American Heritage's dreams of back-to-back titles in a one-sided 34-17 victory. Days later, new evidence points to a disturbing reason why that game may have been so one-sided, with a former American Heritage coach accused of passing along a detailed scouting report covering his former team just days before the playoff matchup.
As first reported by the Palm Beach Post, former American Heritage football coach Doug Socha is accused of faxing an incredibly detailed informational packet about the American Heritage team to directly to the University High coach's office. Among other features of the packet are all the following pieces of key strategic information:
"[The fax contained a] packet of information containing Heritage's playbook, secret signals, favorite formations, code words and player weaknesses."
Needless to say, there is absolutely no justification for the dissemination of such a package, regardless of who sent it. The distribution of the info flies in the face of all tenets of sportsmanship.
For his part, Socha has denied sending over the scouting report. The former coach resigned from American Heritage for personal reasons in June, though his actions drew skepticism at the time because of his long standing commitment to the program before.
The enmity between the two sides has become clear since, even if it isn't officially public. Socha now works as a high school football TV announcer, and he was not allowed on campus to call a game involving American Heritage in the middle of the fall campaign.
"It wasn't me," Socha told the Post. "It's been speculated that I helped a bunch of schools [beat Heritage]. I have no reason to do that. … I had a great six years there. I've moved on."
So far, Socha's denial has been less than convincing, with his successor, current American Heritage head football coach Stacy Sizemore, telling the Post that he found it hard to even think of anyone else even capable of compiling a packet of such detailed analysis of the program's plans.
"It's very hard not to think that he didn't have a hand in it," Sizemore said. "Those are things that only people that have been in this program know. … Those are terms that I've never heard until I came here."