Broadneck parents work to void ruling

Anne Arundel panel's forfeit order is seen as case of `poor judgment'

High Schools

April 23, 2004|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

The parents of Broadneck football players are mobilizing their objection to an Anne Arundel County Board of Education ruling earlier this week that forced the Bruins to forfeit their victories as well as county and region titles from last season.

"We as parents are organizing and planning strategy to contact all of those who can help us correct what we think was very poor judgment on the part of the county committee that administered the letter of the rule as opposed to the spirit of the rules," said Mick Marino, father of Broadneck junior quarterback Tony Marino.

"We're hoping reasonable people will listen. There was no intent to deceive. We have a forthright coach in Jeff Herrick, who every parent would want their kid to play for."

A Board of Education committee ruled Tuesday that Broadneck - The Sun's No. 1 team after a 13-1 season that ended with a loss in the Class 4A state championship game - used an "out-of-area player," according to a source close to the Broadneck community and its football team.

The player in question has lived in the Broadneck community since middle school and is now a junior, but was not living with a parent or legal guardian - as is required by the school system - for most of the season.

Broadneck filed an appeal with the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Wednesday.

Before the first practice on Aug. 15, the mother of the boy involved signed the permission form that states the residency rule. A few games into the season, the mother left the Broadneck district, and her son moved in with a teammate in the Bay Hills neighborhood.

The player's move was not reported to the school, as is required.

Herrick noticed last week that two players had the same home phone number. After investigating, he notified principal Cindy Hudson and athletic director Ken Kazmarek about the violation, and together they reported the information to the school system.

"Coach Herrick emphasizes at the beginning of the year for us to check and make sure all of our teammates live in our area," said sophomore receiver David Yarbrough. "It took a lot for coach Herrick to do what he did. He has a lot of integrity."

The team met Wednesday morning and was told about the ruling.

"At first, I thought we were going to have another recognition assembly, but the first thing out of Ms. Hudson's mouth was, `We have a little problem.' We were all shocked," said Dan Rosenblum, a senior punter. "It's really sad that we lost 13 wins and two championships and especially coach Herrick's 100th win. That was a big thing for him and all of us."

Said Tony Marino: "We're not holding it against [the player] because we're a family. It's hard to believe it's actually happening, but they will have to come to my house to get my plaque."

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