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Valley Center High football coach fought with grandfather at game, deputies say

Posted at 5:29 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-11 12:54:50-04

VALLEY CENTER, Calif. (KGTV) — At a high school football game in Valley Center, emotions spilled off the field at halftime, as a head coach got into an altercation with the grandfather of player.

Last week, under the Friday night lights at Valley Center High, the visiting squad from Imperial High made a big play in the second quarter.

"The other team ran past us for 50 yards. The student just didn't get the tackle, so they got the touchdown," said cheerleader Isela Zepeda.

Zepeda says it was clear an assistant coach wasn't happy with the player.

"I heard that the assistant coach grabbed him, pushed him to the bench and started yelling at him," said Zepeda.

Fast forward to halftime near the snack bar, as senior Jennifer Perez was coming out of the bathroom.

"Heard a lot of yelling. Saw a big crowd," said Zepeda.

Witnesess say the grandfather of that player involved in the touchdown confronted the assistant coach.

"He started choking him out," said Zepeda.

Nearby was longtime head coach Rob Gilster.

"Heard he punched him to get him off. Then I heard he didn't punch him. Bunch of different stories," said senior Yesenia Zepeda, whose brother witnessed part of the fight.

Deputies say bystanders broke up the fight. Sources tell 10News the grandfather suffered broken bones in his eye socket. Deputies took statements, but none of the men wanted to press charges and there wasn't enough evidence to make any arrests.

The Valley Center Pauma Unified School District confirmed they've begun an investigation. 10News has learned both coaches were placed on administrative leave.