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Mar 25, 2016 4:42 PM

Principal, student call Belmont Unified Basketball certificate mix-up an unfortunate mistake

BELMONT - The principal at Belmont High School said Friday that the school will apologize to players and families of the Unified Basketball team who received certificates with names crossed out.

Kylie Donovan, a senior at the school, posted one of the certificates to Facebook last night.

"I am honestly in disbelief as to how an athlete- my brother Keegan, can be forgotten on such a small team," Donovan wrote. "Not only a small team, but a team that was created to give kids like him a chance to feel 'normal.'"

The coach handed out the certificates at a special dinner for the athletes on Thursday.

Donovan's brother Keegan, a freshman, is on the team and asked her why another name had been crossed out. She said he was upset by the incident.

"I think it was an unfortunate mistake that I was, everyone was upset too," Donovan said Friday. "He gets it. I feel like any kid would get that when you see another name written underneath yours."

Principal Dan Clary said the coach is only in his second year and that it was a misunderstanding, after he was unable to attend the regular winter sport athlete's banquet. He instead held a separate dinner for the team so he could personally hand out the certificates.

"As he's giving out the awards he notices he's coming up short, and he knew that it would be nice for the kids to have something in their hands," Clary said. "He made the mistake of crossing out the name that was on the sports award and putting the name of the student that was there."

Clary said he wishes that Donovan had reached out to him first before posting on social media.

"This makes it look like we don't care, but we do," Clary said. He also said he plans to write a letter of apology to the parents and the families who were affected "because they deserve that," he said.

Donovan said the school is very supportive of the team and hopes others can learn from this mistake, so another teen doesn't have to go through the same pain.

"I just wanted to bring awareness just to the team," Donovan said. "I think the support from everyone else is amazing."

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