The American Heritage (Delray Beach, Fla.) football team's hopes of a second consecutive Class 3A state championship ended last Friday with a 34-17 loss to University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). While Heritage shot itself in the foot by allowing 17 points off turnovers, the Stallions may have been at a disadvantage before they even took the field.
According to the Palm Beach Post, a "packet of information containing Heritage’s playbook, secret signals, favorite formations, code words and player weaknesses" was faxed to the University football offices days before the game.
The source? American Heritage told the Post the information could only have come from former American Heritage coach Doug Socha, who resigned abruptly for personal reasons in June after six years at the school.
“It’s very hard not to think that he didn’t have a hand in it,” Heritage football coach Stacy 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.”
Socha, who now coaches at Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach, Fla.), denies that he sent information to University, despite the fact that his name appears as the sender of the fax. University's coach said he reviewed the information, but did not share it with his team before the game.
“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.”
Earlier this year, Heritage refused to allow Socha, who also works as a color commentator for high school football broadcasts, on campus to call the game between Heritage and Dwyer. Socha was apparently at last Friday's game, however.
Heading to Heritage/University game! Good luck to all Palm Beach county teams tonite!— Doug Socha (@coachSocha) November 23, 2012