Penalties considered likely in Carroll boys lacrosse brawl

Canceling season possible for Liberty, South Carroll

High Schools

May 04, 2004|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Carroll County superintendent Charles Ecker said he's "leaning toward" canceling the rest of the season for the Liberty and South Carroll boys lacrosse teams and keeping them out of the playoffs after a brawl that forced suspension of Friday night's game between the schools.

Ecker said he's considering the action after reviewing a tape of the incident, which took place at Liberty. The game, a rematch of last year's Class 4A-3A region final, was tied at 13 with 2:59 left when a shoving match apparently started near the South Carroll goal and escalated with punches being thrown.

The referees broke it up, but problems began again moments later with players from both benches coming on the field - and parents even coming on the field, events that clearly upset Ecker. The officials then suspended the game. Ecker said the situation will be decided in the next few days.

"It's an embarrassment, it's a disgrace, and I'm ashamed of it," Ecker said. "Everything is under consideration. Right now, I'm leaning toward canceling the rest of the season for those two teams and not letting them participate in the state playoffs."

Ecker, who is scheduled to meet with the principals of both schools today, said several scenarios are being considered.

South Carroll's game with North Carroll last night wasn't played, and its status is up in the air, according to South Carroll athletic director Jim Horn. The Cavaliers' next game is scheduled for Friday against Winters Mill, and Ecker wants the situation resolved by then.

Horn is aware of Ecker's thoughts and said the school would back even the most severe penalty.

"The actions by both teams were deplorable," Horn said. "We are dismayed and we are very sorry about what happened on the field, and I can tell you that we will support 100 percent any decision that will come down from the board of education."

Horn also said that South Carroll has identified at least two parents from the school who came on the field. Sources also said a South Carroll parent appeared to be trying to assault a Liberty assistant coach.

South Carroll coach Bill McDermott sent out a letter yesterday apologizing for his team's role. He said in an interview and in the letter, "I can assure you that every effort will be made by me and my staff to see that something like this never happens again."

Liberty coach Kevin Roy could not be reached to comment. Principal Florence Oliver declined to comment and referred all calls to the county's central office.

"I think a strong message needs to be sent," said Bruce Cowan, Carroll County's supervisor of physical education and athletics. "I wouldn't have any problems with that."

Rich Scherr contributed to this article.

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