Conduct of coach, player, fan gets Hebron review after spat Player benched for game after tussle

team, parents talk over sportsmanship

Girls soccer

October 01, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Mount Hebron girls soccer coach Jonathan Davis admits that he has gotten too emotional and too excited in certain games.

But last Saturday's game against Archbishop Spalding, in the championship of the Old Mill Tournament, was not one of them, (( he insists.

"I think I've probably overstepped the bounds, but not this game," said Davis, whose team lost, 4-3, on a goal with less than a minute left. "There have been games I've run down the sideline with my arms waving, screaming at the official. This wasn't that game."

That may not have have happened, but plenty else did.

In the second half, a referee ordered a Mount Hebron parent to leave the stands, Davis was given a yellow card, and a Mount Hebron player was involved in a scuffle when the players were exchanging handshakes following the game.

The Mount Hebron player was benched for Monday's game against Atholton. Both the player and parent who was ejected apologized at a parent/player team meeting following Monday's game.

"We talked about sportsmanship," Davis said. "We all learned from it, and I think we're all going to be better from it. I think we realize we have to keep our mouths closed. That parents need to be positive, and the coach needs to maybe not get as openly frustrated and be as vocally frustrated."

Davis, named Howard County Coach of the Year by The Sun two years ago, admits that a coach's actions affects players and parents. And he said Saturday's game will make him think twice about what he says to officials.

"If you're asking me if I'm going to change my style of being excited, no. Am I going to change my comments I make to the official, and maybe complaining about a call I think should have been called? Yes. So I've learned."

Added Davis: "I'm not the type of coach that sits on the bench. That's not my personality, that's not why I coach soccer, that's not why I spend time with these kids. I'm passionate about it, they're passionate, you've got to play with emotion. But sure, I'm probably a factor in it. I think all coaches are."

Mount Hebron principal Adrianne Kaufman said the incidents were "unacceptable to me" and that the school "has worked hard on sportsmanship." Parents "are supposed to be role models. I expect it to get better."

Davis said the parent "was ejected for making the comment, 'She kicked her, she kicked her, she kicked her.'

"A Spalding player had been yellow carded, and on her first play back in the game, she kicks Katie [Elliott] twice, and the ref doesn't call a foul. I'm yelling at the ref, and he stops the game and gives me a yellow card. All I said was, 'She kicked her, she kicked her. Protect my players, please.' The fan was yelling basically saying the same thing.

"The ref from the other side comes running across the field, saw the gentleman standing up, pointed to him and said you're out of here. He didn't have any idea what he said but knew he was standing up, and he had had an altercation with that gentleman in the first half. That's really where it started.

"The game was really getting out of control in the first half," Davis continued. "There were some other parents yelling, and this particular gentleman said, 'Referee, you need to put the red and white on,' because Spalding is red and white.

"The ref stopped the play, told the fans to keep their mouths closed, and if they didn't, he was getting the cops at halftime. The official, in my opinion, was totally out of control at this point. He shouldn't have gotten so frustrated by that comment."

Davis, a third-grade teacher at Manor Woods Elementary, said some Mount Hebron parents "definitely made a few comments they shouldn't have" but that "the comment by the fan who got thrown out was not inappropriate; it was true.

"If the officials had had control of the game earlier, the parents wouldn't have been upset that people were getting pushed and shoved.

"We have been in some games that parents have been panicked and have been yelling and screaming. I don't know if this was the worst. It turned out to be the worst because of the way it ended."

Vern Hines, tournament director and an assistant girls varsity soccer coach at Old Mill, said some Mount Hebron parents "were a little rowdy" and that Davis "attempted to control them."

"The parent that was thrown out, he was loud but generally he was very positive," said Hines, who was sitting in the Mount Hebron stands the second half. "I think the wrong parent was thrown out. There were a few other parents that were fairly negative and their comments were directed at the referees."

Davis said he didn't see the post-game skirmish begin but that his players told him a Spalding player was walking through the traditional handshake line saying a profanity to every player.

"Our girl definitely should have shown restraint and not provoked the situation any worse," Davis said. "It was was a learning experience for her."

Hines, who was on the field, said Davis insisted the teams shake hands again and that the second time was incident-free.

Spalding athletic director Lee Dove said that no action had been taken against players from his school.

"At this point I still need to be filled in on what exactly happened," Dove said. "If we find out our players did something wrong, appropriate action will be taken."

Davis said he was glad his team played Monday -- a 5-0 win over Atholton -- and that the incident "is behind us. We've moved on."

Hines said Mount Hebron would be invited back to the tournament.

Pub Date: 10/01/98

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