St. Frances forced to cancel Calvert Hall game


November 11, 2008|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,

Confusion over the status of St. Frances' first-year football team has resulted in the cancellation of its scheduled game at Calvert Hall on Saturday and several of its freshman and junior varsity games with other Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association schools.

"I made the decision about canceling the Calvert Hall game," MIAA executive director Rick Diggs said. "There are some procedural issues and other issues that they [St. Frances' administrators and coaches] were probably unaware of because they put their program together so quickly. Over the past 10 years, our policy book has gotten thicker and thicker. You almost have to be a lawyer to understand it."

St. Frances coach Mike Clay said his team is being viewed as a club team because its program did not get sanctioned by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association before the season. Once the MIAA decided on the club-team designation in mid-October, St. Frances was not allowed to play Maryland teams, forcing the school to cancel freshman and JV games with Calvert Hall and Gilman.

"We never even thought about that," Clay said. "St. Frances is a member of the MIAA, but for this year in football we were not covered. We should have approached the MPSSAA to recognize us as an independent, but we thought we were still under the MIAA blanket."

St. Frances has applied for B Conference status, which could be voted on as early as Monday. Diggs said he expects approval to be given. Within the next two weeks St. Frances administrators will meet with Diggs to discuss the issues and make sure the program obeys MIAA rules in the future.

The Panthers finished this season 4-4, playing teams in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Washington.

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