Six Reservoir soccer players were suspended for hazing a freshman player after taping him to a goal post and then shooting soccer balls at him, school principal Adrian Kaufman said yesterday.
The incident occurred Friday on the soccer practice field after the second-year Howard County school closed at 2 p.m. and before practice began at 3:15.
The incident was reported to Kaufman by first-year Reservoir varsity coach Kevin Flynn, who called the situation "very upsetting."
Flynn said that the freshman was not seriously injured.
Kaufman declined to say how long the suspensions will last.
"Hazing is not something I will tolerate," Kaufman said. "It was clearly poor decision-making. I take it seriously and am unhappy about it. And if anything ever happens like this again, the students will be suspended for the season."
Four of the suspended players are juniors who play on the varsity team. The other two, both freshmen, are on the JV team. The player hazed was on the JV team.
Kaufman said that Howard County director of athletics Don Disney had authorized a waiver in case the varsity team needs to use JV players while the suspensions are served.
JV coach Brian Donnelly said that two JV players filled in on the varsity team in yesterday's 5-0 loss to Wilde Lake. The varsity team's next game is Friday at home against Howard.
"Hazing is something that we ask our coaches to review with their athletes before each season," Kaufman said.
The county's school violence and safety policy specifically addresses hazing. This stems from an incident at Centennial High in 1999 in which 14 varsity soccer players were suspended as the result of a hazing incident that injured two freshman JV players.
Each athletic participation form that parents and players sign at the start of each season also addresses hazing, saying that acts of humiliation and harassment are unacceptable.