By Jeremy Balan
The football game between Mission High School and Riordan scheduled for next season just got considerably more intriguing.
Running back Armani McFarland, who led the Crusaders in rushing yardage and touchdowns last year, and figured to be one of the West Catholic Athletic League’s top returning players next season, has transferred to Mission and has been cleared to play for the Bears.
The 6-foot, 190-pound junior was granted a “hardship” exception to the transfer rule that normally requires a student to sit out a full year of competition if the athlete transfers after his or her freshman year.
According to San Francisco Section Commissioner Don Collins, McFarland met the CIF’s conditions of an “unforeseeable, unavoidable and uncorrectable act, condition or event that causes the imposition of a severe and non-athletic burden upon the student or his/her family,” to be able to play immediately for Mission.
McFarland’s addition to the Mission football roster will undoubtedly help the Bears in their defense of the Academic Athletic Association title, but he could have an immediate impact on the basketball team. He will make his first appearance in a Mission uniform today against International Studies Academy.
“Armani will probably come off the bench and give us a hard-nosed presence,” said Mission head basketball coach Arnold Zelaya. “He will help defensively, he’s been working hard since he got here and I’m happy to give kids a fresh start.”
Mission head football coach Joe Albano and Riordan head football coach Richard Sweeney were unavailable for comment early Friday afternoon.