Athletes now need proof to play

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Policy requires students provide recent utility bill to verify residence in the county

December 28, 2008|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Harford County athletes must now take one more step before playing in any games.

A new policy will require athletes to provide the school with a recent utility bill to help show proof of residence.

"We've had residency issues in the past, and we just want to make sure that we don't put a school in a situation that compromises everything they've worked towards in sports," said Ken Zorbach, the county's supervisor of athletics.

The policy was put into place about a week before the winter season began. It was spurred by the incident last fall in which the Joppatowne football team had to forfeit three victories because of an ineligible player who didn't live in the district.

Zorbach said that Harford County borrowed this idea from Howard County. He thought about putting it into place for next year, but county principals had a meeting and wanted quicker action. A new permission form was given out for the winter season, including the requirement of providing a utility bill that shows direct service into the house.

Multi-sport athletes must provide the form in every season of the school year.

"People can move during the school year and not tell anybody," Zorbach said. "This will verify that you're still there each season."

Zorbach said that if questions remain about an athlete's residency after that, school officials will go to the guidance office to check the student's records.

Exceeding expectations

The Fallston ice hockey team has overcome inexperience and a tough early season schedule to get off to a 3-2 start.

The club team - made up of high school players from Fallston, Bel Air, C. Milton Wright and North Harford - has beaten Queen Anne's, Archbishop Curley and Arundel. Fallston lost to Easton on the road and dropped a tough game to unbeaten Severna Park, giving up a goal with less than a second left.

Coach Jim Karrenbauer likes how his team is coming together. He wasn't sure what to expect this season after losing a number of players to graduation. Last year, Fallston made it to the finals of the McKenzie Cup Provisional Tournament in Frederick, falling in a tough overtime game.

"We're very happy with the strides we've made so far," Karrenbauer said. "We lost a lot of kids from last year, and we didn't know how the chemistry was going to work, but they've kind of exceeded where we thought they'd be."

Ryan March is the team leader in goals (six) and points (eight). Seniors K.C. Chaney, Luke Jackson, Casey Jendras, Steven Kushner and Derek Recher also have contributed.

"There's not a lot of experience, but there is a lot of energy," Karrenbauer said.

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