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High School Madness- and Goodness.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
High School Madness- and Goodness....
I spent almost the entire day in and around Rochester today- in the office there early, downtown round noon, a landlord-tenant hearing in the eastern burbs at 4:30, and a quick trip to see the kids after the last of those since it was close to halfway to their place.  On the drive home, the local radio station was all agog about a relatively odd subject: high school football.

None of this state, Upstate or down, would ever be mistaken for the mystique of Friday Night Lights. High schools play mostly on Saturday afternoons (including, unfortunately, mine- which mostly sucked while we in the band were forced to attend and march around in support of the jocks in order to play in wind ensemble), and there are even "sectional" and state championships, but it's much lower key except around a relatively few rivalries.

One of them in the Rochester area's Section V (my high school was Section VIII- just like Klinger;) involves a Catholic school named Aquinas.  Their team made the news on Rochester airwaves, and even the paper here once I finally got home, when it was announced that Aquinas was being forced to forfeit its quarterfinal playoff win from last weekend, with a resulting DQ from the rest of the post-season, because their star quarterback was ineligible to have played:

Here is Section V's press release on the matter:

As a result of a decision of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's Section V Executive Committee this morning, the Aquinas High School football team must forfeit their October 25th game against Pittsford Central School District for using an ineligible player who did not meet the representation rule.

The NYSPHSAA representation rule, included in the NYSPHSAA Handbook, states that a player must be an eligible participant in three regular season football games in order to participate in the postseason. The student in question was determined not to be an eligible participant for three regular season football games; furthermore no waiver was requested of the Section.

The waivers in question are, apparently, requested and routinely granted fairly often, but the school didn't bother to ask, and rules is rules.  (Having it be a Catholic school lends even more irony to the pickiness of the venial sin.) Unknown to date is whether the infraction was blown in by last week's vanquished opponent or this coming weekend's possibly chicken one.  The comments on the radio and in the press so far are divided pretty evenly between the rulebook nitpickers and the conspiracy theorists who think it's anti-Catholic prejudice.  The quotes from the school and the parent of the ineligible player are full of righteous indignation, with the latter actually threatening legal action over the forfeit and disqualification.

Me? I couldn't care enough for a single genuflect at the situation, and I only mention it at all because there's a far more Christian example to follow this week from the same world of small-time high school football.


Story the Second is about as far from Section V as you can get- Washington State- and is far more tragic than a technical knockout of a team.

Sports aren't on anybody's mind after the horrible school shooting in Marysville, Wash., Friday. But while Marysville-Pilchuck High School reels from an unbearably tragic day, their football rivals made a strong show of solidarity. Via the Seattle Times:

Oak Harbor announced early Friday evening that it would take second place in the Wesco 3A North division, giving up the league title to Marysville-Pilchuck following the fatal events that took place at Pilchuck earlier in the day.

The game for the title was supposed to be played tonight at 7 p.m. in Oak Harbor but was postponed after a freshman at Marysville-Pilchuck shot one student, wounded four and then killed himself early Friday.

The "losing" team did more than concede the title to their grieving opponents: they showed up en masse at the Marysville-Pilchuck school to attend a vigil for the fallen students.

So I throw a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct flag at the Aquinas parent, and congratulate the much more mature teenage players on the other coast- for realizing when a game is only a game and then acting on that knowledge.

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