S. River gets a forfeit for coaches' exit

2 left at half for function

`technicality' irks parents

Girls soccer

High Schools

October 17, 2001|By Edward Lee | By Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The South River girls soccer team has been told to forfeit last month's win against Southern of Harwood because the team's coaches left the game at halftime to attend a back-to-school night.

Michael Walsh, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Public School system, confirmed yesterday that the Board of Arbitrators ordered the Seahawks to forfeit the 5-0 victory on Sept. 20.

"It was decided that the game would be forfeited," Walsh said. "That's all I can say."

The infraction occurred during halftime of the game when South River head coach Keith Fontaine and assistant coach John Camm left to attend a back-to-school night at Crofton Middle School where they both teach.

Junior midfielder Melissa Curry ran the team in the second half with Jim Haluck, the school's athletic director, on the sidelines.

According to Marlene Kelly, the county coordinator of athletics, county regulations state that the athletic director or assistant athletic director can step into a game situation only if the coach was called away due to an emergency.

Kelly said that the rule does not apply to events of which the coach had prior knowledge.

Haluck declined to comment, and Fontaine did not return a call seeking comment.

Some South River parents thought the ruling was unfair.

"The coach doesn't play the game, the players play the game," said William Curry, Melissa's father. "I think it's a technicality that somebody is trying to pull out of a hat."

Sandy Distad, the mother of defender Kristin Distad, also disagreed with the decision.

The forfeit will adjust the Seahawks' record to 9-2 overall and 8-2 in the county. Courtesy of yesterday's 2-0 upset of No. 4 Severna Park, South River remains in second place in the county with a shot at a berth in the championship.

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