CHS football coaches suspended

School plans to appeal decision by the league

"I believe there was no attempt to recruit an athlete from another school."

-- Rory Oster, Athletic Director

“I believe there was no attempt to recruit an athlete from another school.”

— Rory Oster, Athletic Director

Camas High School head football coach Jon Eagle has been suspended by the Greater St. Helens League for the first four games of the season for a recruiting violation.

Community and School Relations Director Doreen McKercher issued a statement about the investigation Wednesday.

About a month ago, Athletic Director Rory Oster was made aware of a student’s interest in transferring to Camas High School for the purpose of playing football. Oster contacted the athlete’s current school to inform administrators of the inquiry.

Once reports surfaced that this football player had been actively recruited by Eagle, Oster immediately self-reported his concerns to GSHL president Leta Meyer.

During a closed door meeting Wednesday, the league’s athletic directors voted to suspend Eagle for four games and assistant coach Dan Kielty for one game.

According to Oster, CHS will appeal both punishments.

“I wholeheartedly believe there was absolutely no attempt to recruit an athlete from another school,” Oster said. “Coach Eagle has the highest integrity and level of professionalism. He has never been accused of a violation of any kind in his 30-year career.”

League officials will meet with members of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association May 21 to determine whether to support or lift the suspension on Eagle and Kielty.

“Nobody should have known about this until after the appeal process went through,” Oster said in a phone interview Thursday. “The fact that it has been reported not only does a disservice to Coach Eagle, but also to due process. We intend to appeal this decision to the highest level.”

Eagle has been the head football coach at the school since 2008. The Papermakers reached the Tacoma Dome in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and played for the Class 4A state championship in 2013.