Sunday, July 29, 2001

High School Insider




By Dave Schutte
Enquirer contributor

        Promoting sportsmanship has been a top priority of the Ohio High School Athletic Association since 1994, but the intense effort apparently has failed.

        With the ejection of athletes at an all-time high and verbal abuse of officials out of control in the early 1990s, the OHSAA initiated tougher penalties for those violating the rules.

        Although some progress has been made and ejections of athletes and coaches were down during the 2000-01 school year, improvement has been slower than anticipated.

        OHSAA records show 924 athletes and 180 coaches were ejected during the 2000-01 school year compared to 934 athletes and 234 coaches in 1999-2000 and 1,004 athletes and 238 coaches in 1998-99.

        Boys soccer heads the ejection list with 255 players and 14 coaches thrown out of games. There were 277 soccer players and 27 coaches ejected during the
1999-2000 school year.

        Under OHSAA rules, ejected athletes and coaches must sit out seven days or the next two events, whichever comes first.

        Many coaches felt soccer players were held to higher standards than other sports due to rules that banish a player for two yellow cards.

        After several years of lobbying for a relaxation of the rules, OHSAA officials gave in, with players given the two-game suspension penalty only for flagrant, or more violent, violations.

        Before the relaxation of the soccer ejection rules two years ago, there were 307 athletes ejected from soccer games in 1998-99 and 315 in 1997-98.

        The second-most penalized sport was football, with 193 athletes and 13 coaches ejected, up from 183 athletes and 16 coaches in 1999-2000. Baseball was third with 134 athletes and 46 coaches removed from games, down one from the 129 athletes and 52 coaches tossed in 1999-2000.

        Female athletes aren't as prone to ejections. Soccer heads the list with 43 athletes and nine coaches.Basketball is next with 34 athletes and 23 coaches, followed by softball with 15 athletes and 14 coaches.

        Girls track, boys and girls golf, boys and girls swimming, boys and girls cross country and girls volleyball had no athletes ejected, though a girls volleyball coach was ejected.

        Wrestling continues to be a problem with 71 athletes and 11 coaches removed from matches. There were two boys ejected from track and 64 hockey players.

        Overall, Cincinnati athletes and coaches did well.

        Groveport Madison led all schools with eight athletes and one coach ejected; six schools were tied for second at seven each.

        There is a four-way tie in Cincinnati for the most ejections. Harrison, Lakota East, Moeller and Talawanda each had five, followed by North College Hill with four.

        “We continually stress the importance of sportsmanship,” Harrison athletics director Mike Schiering said. “When an athlete is kicked out, the coach and I sit down with them to discuss it.”

        Schiering said soccer was the problem sport with three boys and one girl ejected.

        “When a soccer player is given a yellow card, we make them sit the rest of the game,” Schiering said.

        The solution to the problem is in the hands of school officials. If the administration takes a tougher stand and sticks with it, the rash of poor sportsmanship and ejections will drop.

        CLASSIFIEDS: Walnut Hills is looking for a varsity girls tennis coach and a junior high girls soccer coach. Call Tim Mersch at 569-5540.

        McNicholas needs a cheerleading coach for football and basketball. Call Dave Boettger at 231-3500, ext.141.

        Bethel-Tate needs a head varsity girls basketball coach. Call Rick Wilson at 734-2271, ext.12.

        Turpin has the following coach openings: assistant girls tennis, assistant cross country and head varsity girls swimming. Call Tony Hemmelgarn at 232-7770, ext. 2838.

        Mount Healthy is looking for a head wrestling, middle school wrestling and volleyball coach. Call Tina Tuck at 729-0130, ext.21.

        VOLLEYBALL OFFICIATING: Classes for those interested in officiating high school volleyball will be held at Princeton beginning Aug.8. Call Jon Milesky at 353-4141.

        ALL-AMERICANS: Aiken product Antonio Broadnax and Elder product Adam Ryan have been named preseason Division III All-Americans by Football.com. They play at Wilmington College.

        A senior free safety, Broadnax recorded 81 tackles last year as a junior and has a career total of 211, 43 from moving into the school's top 10.

        The Quakers' starting quarterback, Ryan has passed for 8,531 yards, an average of 307.9 a game, which ranks him 18th all time in Division III.

        SIGNING: Lakota East senior linebacker Brad Williams has verbally commited to Bowling Green State University.

       



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