Chesapeake-AA loses its appeal

20 wins will have to be forfeited

Baseball

High Schools

December 11, 2004|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

The Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County baseball team lost its appeal to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association in a ruling handed down yesterday morning and must forfeit all of its wins in a 20-3 season last spring that had the Cougars ranked No. 5 in The Sun's final poll.

Anne Arundel County's Board of Arbitration first rendered the penalty on June 9 for a violation of the number of returning players on a non-school team that is coached by a member of the school's coaching staff. The decision was upheld by the MPSSAA Appeals Committee, which did not hear the case until Wednesday.

"I feel we were sentenced to death for shoplifting, and it's not fair to the kids," said Chesapeake's Jim Simms, who coaches the school's baseball and football teams and said the Cougars will take the final step in the process and appeal to the state superintendent of schools.

Simms feels strongly that one of the players on the 2003 non-school summer team, coached by one of his assistants, should not be counted because that player was suspended from school for the rest of the year in March 2003. The student was found guilty of a school and team infraction after playing only three innings in one game.

The student was not expected back, but surprisingly he was allowed to return to Chesapeake for his senior year in September. He later played on the 2004 team.

"I would have rather they fired me than punish the kids for this," Simms said.

"They told us ... our integrity was not in question, but there was a violation of the rules and the team had to be punished for it."

The forfeits were assessed because of the alleged eight returning players from the Pasadena Post 277 American Legion summer team coached by Cougars assistant Vic Ostrowski.

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