McAfee hopes board sees absences his way

SIDELINES

High Schools

January 31, 2003|By Pat O'Malley

Rochard McAfee, senior basketball standout at Meade High School, hopes to get some good news Monday.

McAfee, who has been dismissed from the team for the rest of the season because of school rules that are over and above county rules for unexcused absences, appealed to the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

"They're meeting Monday and will tell me then if I'm back on the team," said McAfee. "I really miss playing on the team, and the guys on the team want me to come back. Hopefully, I'll hear something good on Monday."

Monday is the final day of the first semester.

McAfee did not attend his Algebra II class eight times between Dec. 19 and Jan. 14. The team forfeited wins to North County and Chesapeake on Jan. 7 and 10 because McAfee did not attend a full day of classes on those dates by skipping his final class, Algebra II, on those days.

The Anne Arundel County Athletic Handbook, under rules for attendance, says that a student/athlete cutting class or guilty of truancy "shall be ruled ineligible at least for the contest immediately following the verification of the truancy."

In dealing McAfee a considerably harsher penalty than county rules call for, Meade referred to similar cases as setting a precedent for being declared ineligible.

Nathan McAfee, Rochard's father, called it "an unfair penalty" not in line with standard county policy and appealed.

"I want to know why they waited until Jan. 14 to tell us he was off the team," said Nathan McAfee. "We thought Rochard had dropped the class, because he was taking Algebra I at night school."

School officials did not comment on the situation.

McAfee takes five other classes, plus Algebra I on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

"I had a paper from the school that said I was out of the Algebra II class because I was taking Algebra I at night," said Rochard, who has a 2.8 grade point average and is making up work lost in the spring because of an auto accident so he can graduate on time.

"I've lost the paper, and the school said it wasn't in the computer, that I had dropped the class. I've been working hard and think myself and the team have been punished enough. I hope I can get back with my team."

New Knights coaches

North County High School has named two lacrosse coaches - Ryan Lanigan for the boys and Tracy Crane for the girls.

Crane, a graduate of Chesapeake High in Anne Arundel, also will coach the Knights' field hockey team.

Lanigan, from Long Island, attended Bellport High in Belhaven, N.Y., and was a Division II All-American and two-time captain at Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C. The Saints won the Division II national championship in 2000, the year Lanigan graduated. Lanigan also has been president of the Bacharach /Kislings Lacrosse Club.

Lanigan replaces Paul Shea, the Knights' only boys lacrosse coach since the school opened in 1990. Shea was the Andover coach before taking the North County job and in 25 seasons had the second best record (245-129, .655) in county history.

Crane, a Towson University graduate who played at Chesapeake and Frostburg State, is filling the dual role of lacrosse/field hockey coach that Brian Bowles held before moving into an administrative position.

She is a member of the National Field Hockey Association and the All-American Committee, as well as the U.S. Field Hockey Association and is a certified futures coach. In addition, Crane is secretary of the Maryland State Field Hockey Association and is the All-State chair and coach of Team Maryland.

North County athletic director Mike Baker, who announced the two new coaches yesterday, still has to fill the Knights' vacant football coaching position.

Sideliners

Legendary DeMatha basketball coach Morgan Wootten, who retired after 46 seasons with a national-record 1,274 wins and the second best winning percentage (.869) on his overall 1,274-192 record, will speak at the Annapolis Touchdown Club on Feb. 19 at the Sheraton Barcelo Hotel in Annapolis. The football event honors Navy and Maryland in addition to county high school players. ... No. 5 Annapolis (13-1, 9-0), which leads the county boys basketball standings, visits No. 17 Glen Burnie (10-3, 6-3) at 7:15 p.m. Monday. The host Gophers are battling No. 19 Southern (10-5, 7-2) and Old Mill (10-5, 7-2) for second place. ... Glen Burnie lost, 66-57, at Southern on Wednesday as Justin Holland and Adrian Gross combined for 49 points. Old Mill won, 70-65, at upstart Chesapeake (8-6, 5-4) as Anthony Dailey and Kevin Barnes combined for 35 points. ... Both Annapolis teams won Wednesday over North County, the Panthers boys by 95-47 and the girls by 61-32. John Brady, who coaches both Annapolis teams, is the first Maryland coach to have both teams ranked at the same time. The boys (13-1) are No. 5 and the girls (9-3) are No. 18.

Have a note? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499 or send e-mail to patomalleysports@aol.com.

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