Where Coldwater High School 2021 running back Cameron Torres will play football in fall 2022 is still in question after he joined Marshall in February.
CHS director Bill Milnes refused to sign the education transfer form for Torres to play football and run for the Red Hawks, claiming the move was “sport motivated.”
Branch County Circuit Judge Bill O’Grady declined to issue an immediate order to compel approval of the transfer sought by Torres’ attorney James Thomas of Grand Rapids.
The judge ruled that Torres must go through the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s administrative process. A number of claims by Torres and the school also require sworn evidence to establish the facts.
Torres, 18, claimed he has the right to transfer under the MHSAA exemption “if students move with … divorced parents.”
Torres’ mother, Lyndsay Williams, divorced his stepfather in January 2021. They bought and moved into a house on Bishop Street in Coldwater. Six weeks later, the mother took a job in Marshall. His mother signed a lease on an apartment, and they registered in Marshall to vote.
The Bishop Street house was put up for sale and a contract signed. The school called the sale to two of the mother’s business partners a sham. The deal didn’t go through.
There is a sign in the yard that says “For sale by owner” but there is no information on the sign. According to court filings, the home is not listed on Realtor.com or Zillow.
Filing submitted by the schools said personal belongings remained at the home, where garbage was still being collected weekly.
The two stepsisters told friends the condo was only rented for a few months. The lease was then amended to end June 2022 to June 2023.
According to court documents, a Coldwater football coach told Torres that a transfer during his senior year was a bad idea because he wouldn’t be eligible to play. Torres replied, “There are ways to get around the broadcast rule.”
When coach Jeff Schorfhaar told Cameron he could live in Marshall and play in Coldwater, he said, “No, I don’t want that,” the school claims.
School board attorney Travis Comstock said it was known that Torres was seeking a college football scholarship. He attended soccer camps at the University of Florida and the University of Wisconsin.
Torres challenged the fall 2021 COVID-19 quarantine. It would have kept him from playing Marshall, an event that college scouts wanted to attend.
O’Grady issued an injunction allowing him to play, but the game was postponed.
Torres played in an unsanctioned 7-on-7 football league on a team formed by the Marshall quarterback.
“It therefore begs the question whether Marshall informally assembled this team to help Torres familiarize himself with potential future teammates,” which violates MHSAA rules, the Coldwater schools claimed in their challenge to the lawsuit .
Coldwater schools are admitting a significant number of seniors who graduated this year on the football team, particularly in critical positions on offense. The upcoming junior university didn’t win a game last season.
“The varsity team will therefore not have a successful season next fall,” the school said.
Rival Marshall expects to have a much stronger team in 22.
School board attorney Comstock said why the transmission rule is essential. First, it prevents “athlete recruitment and undue influence” and avoiding “school purchases” by families for the purpose of athletics.
A pre-trial conference in the case is scheduled for this week. Unless the MHSAA or the court decides otherwise, Torres may not play for Marshall.