Anne Arundel Co. postpones football games until Monday

October 10, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Citing a need for practice time, Anne Arundel County yesterday postponed all of this week's football games until Monday.

Anne Arundel and Howard were the only Baltimore-area counties to postpone athletic activities for the third straight day after Monday morning's sniper shooting of a 13-year-old Prince George's County middle school student.

Both counties hoped to be back on the fields today, either playing games or practicing.

Marlene Kelly, Anne Arundel supervisor of athletics, said a final decision on the status of today's non-football games would be made this morning. She was optimistic, however, that today's games would be played.

Kelly also said that games originally scheduled for this past Tuesday would be played Monday, and that all field conflicts with football games that day already have been worked out.

Howard, the only county to have postponed athletic activities for four of the past six school days because of sniper shootings that began Oct. 2, is expected to resume practices today and games tomorrow, pending final approval this morning by the superintendent of schools.

Don Disney, Howard County coordinator of athletics, said that participation in all extra-curricular activities, including games and practices, will be a parental decision. And if parents decide not to allow a child to play, that child can't be penalized by a coach.

He also said that coaches must communicate this situation at a team meeting today, and that students also will be informed by a school public address system announcement.

Howard County will try to make up all events that have been postponed, and that if necessary, by state rules, a team could play as many as four games in a week once during a season, Disney said.

He could not answer whether coaches who felt uncomfortable coaching would be required to do so. "That's a good question," he said. "But they are under contract."

He did not think any teams would forfeit games because of too few players.

"Based on the calls I've been getting all day from parents, I don't anticipate that happening," Disney said. "They are calling to tell me that kids are out there organizing their own practices."

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