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Athletes removed from Boonsboro teams after alcohol party

December 09, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

BOONSBORO -- Eleven athletes at Boonsboro High School were removed from their teams after police broke up a large South County alcohol party over the weekend, authorities said Wednesday.

Boonsboro High Athletic Director Mark Wadel said the students violated school rules for extracurricular activities -- possessing drugs or alcohol or "constructive possession," which is having control by being near people who possess alcohol or drugs.

He said most of the winter sports were affected, but wouldn't specify which ones. Winter sports include basketball, track, wrestling and cheerleading.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department found about 50 people at the party Saturday night -- most of them from Boonsboro and all of them younger than 21, the legal drinking age, Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore said Wednesday.

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Deputies issued 21 alcohol possession citations to people younger than 18, plus 12 citations to people at least 18 but younger than 21.

Mullendore said deputies discovered the party when they responded to a noise complaint at a house on Harpers Ferry Road near Dargan at about 11:40 p.m. Saturday.

Mullendore called the number of young people involved and the number of citations issued "highly unusual."

Deputies contacted the family of each person who received a ticket. Some were picked up by family members, and some were driven home by a deputy.

Mullendore said seven deputies worked on the call for about four hours.

A family owns the house, but does not live there, Mullendore said. The parents were "definitely surprised" when they found out their child had a party there, he said.

Wadel said a parent of someone at the party told a coach about it and three athletes told their coaches. The school investigated further.

The 11 athletes were removed from their teams Tuesday, Wadel said. He said the students were cooperative and apologetic.

He said he knew of only one similar situation in recent years.

In 2005, 14 Clear Spring High School varsity girls soccer players were suspended from all extracurricular activities after attending a party at which alcohol was served.

Two students were reinstated after appealing.

A volunteer coach was charged with nine counts of furnishing alcohol to a person younger than 21. Court records show he was found guilty and fined on three counts, and the other six were dismissed.

Washington County students sign contracts 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.

Students may appeal their penalty to Edward Masood, the school system's director of fine arts, athletics, health and physical education.

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