Two players reinstated

October 15, 2005|By ANDREW SCHOTZ


Two of the 14 Clear Spring High School varsity girls soccer players suspended last month after attending a party where alcohol was served were reinstated on Friday, an administrator said.

The other 12 will remain suspended from all extracurricular activities, including soccer, until Nov. 15, said Edward Masood, the school system's director of athletics, health and physical education.

Masood said 13 of the 14 girls appealed the suspensions, which began Sept. 22. He heard the appeals and told their parents on Friday of his decisions.


The girls may appeal his decisions to the superintendent or someone she designates.

The suspensions came after a Sept. 16 party at a volunteer coach's home, where alcohol was served, Masood has said.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department said on Sept. 30 that nine soccer players were issued citations for underage drinking.

The sheriff's department said the volunteer coach, Bryan K. Burton of 11963 Boyd Road, near Clear Spring, was charged with nine counts of furnishing alcohol to a person under 21.

The sheriff's department alleged that Burton was responsible for buying the girls alcohol.

However, there were no citations against Burton in Washington County District Court on Friday.

Capt. Doug Mullendore of the sheriff's department said there was an error on the original tickets, so they need to be refiled.

Burton is no longer connected to the team, school officials have said.

Washington County students sign contracts each school year acknowledging they'll be ineligible for extracurricular activities, including sports, if they use alcohol or drugs or if they attend events where alcohol or drugs are used illegally.

The penalty is a suspension of 45 days or the remainder of the season, whichever is longer.

Masood said the last day of high school soccer in Maryland is Nov. 19. Clear Spring would have to reach the state semifinals for the 12 players still suspended to have a chance to play again.

The junior varsity girls team was moved up to varsity to replace the suspended players, canceling the junior varsity season.

Head Coach Jeff Semler said Friday that it was tough last month for the players to have a game two hours after hearing about the suspensions.

But the players rallied, tied South Hagerstown High School 2-2 and have played well since, he said.

The team has two wins, six losses and two ties, with four games left in the regular season.

Four games have gone into overtime, including three that reached double overtime.

The single-elimination playoffs, open to all teams, are scheduled to start in about two weeks.

"I couldn't be prouder of them if they were undefeated ...," Semler said. "I just hope everybody learns from the situation and grows from it and we keep moving on."

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