Christian High School website shows varsity game as “cancelled.” Times of San Diego illustration

Christian High School of El Cajon was set to host Helix Charter High School on Tuesday in girls volleyball. But Christian forfeited the varsity match and Helix canceled the JV and freshman games.


According to a person briefed on the matter, the Helix varsity has a gay player, and several girls on the Christian team were “uncomfortable” playing against a lesbian.

Damon Chase, the Helix athletic director, told Times of San Diego that Christian forfeited the varsity volleyball match, “so we chose not to send our JV and frosh teams.”

He added: “We are not going to address the reasons for the forfeiture as we can only speculate on why Christian forfeited. They may have answers for you. Helix has not refused to play anyone, any school or any team.”

Times of San Diego sent email queries to Christian High School officials, including the principal, athletic director and girls volleyball coach, and also left voice mail seeking comment. Nobody responded.

The tipster who contacted Times of San Diego on Wednesday morning and later spoke to me by phone said the homophobic objection was “common knowledge” at Helix, a La Mesa powerhouse in many sports.

“It’s outrageous,” the tipster said.

Zoe Varela Beltz is Helix’s first-year varsity volleyball coach, and is said to have been surprised Tuesday by the sudden forfeiture by the 10-5 Patriots.

“She was not contacted by anybody at Christian before the game,” the tipster said of the coach. “She didn’t know anything about this problem until she was about to get on the bus.”

Women’s volleyball has been prominent in the news lately, especially after an outdoor match between collegiate teams drew the largest audience in women’s sports history.

Late last month, a match hosted at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, drew more than 92,000 fans.

The host University of Nebraska swept smaller rival University of Nebraska at Omaha to smash the world record for attendance at a women’s sporting event.

Forfeitures over LGBTQ concerns appear to be rare, but one happened last February when the girls basketball team at Mid Vermont Christian School dropped out of the state playoffs.

The Mid Vermont Eagles balked at playing the Long Trail Mountain Lions after it was revealed a transgender student was on the Long Trail roster.

“Head of School Vicky Fogg argued that it was unfair and unsafe for the high school girls to play against a biological male on the opposing team,” said a Fox News report.

Several weeks later, CNN reported that Mid Vermont is no longer allowed to take part in future Vermont Principals’ Association activities and tournaments.

Times of San Diego is reaching out to San Diego CIF for comment.