Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Athletic Business Newswire - Controversial TD Celebration Video: Was Right Call Made?

Athletic Business Newswire - Controversial TD Celebration Video: Was Right Call Made?

Racist N Word Chant Gets High School Basketball Team Suspended

By Melanie Jones
At least 11 high school girls from the Kenmore East varsity basketball team have been suspended and face other sanctions after sophomore Tyra Batts revealed that her teammates had a tradition of using the N word as their regular pre-locker room chant.

Batts, the only black member on the team, had tried to stop the girls from using the racial slur before blowing the whistle to Kenmore East officials, but members of the New York school varsity team continue to say the chant was a "joke."

'It's just a word, not a label.'

Tyra Batts, 16, broke the story of Kenmore East's racially volatile "tradition" in a tape she sent to Buffalo News. "The whole team before our game would have a ritual of saying 1-2-3 and then the N word," said Batts, who is the only African American on an otherwise all-white girls carsity team. "N-I-G-G-E-R, no slang, no nothing. It's a tradition that's been going on for years."

Batts, a sophomore at Kenmore East, was shocked when she first heard the chant, which usually following a group prayer. When she first heard the chant at the team's opening game against Sweet Home High last week, she tried to get her teammates to stop.

"I said, 'You're not allowed to say that word, because I don't like that word," she told Buffalo News.
But her teammates brushed her off.

"They said, 'You know we're not racist, Tyra," she recalls. "It's just a word, not a label."

When she tried to confront the girls again, Batts claims she was verbally attacked with another racial slur. The fight got physical, and Batts was suspended for five days for fighting. She felt angry, frustrated and very alone.

"I was outlabel-- I was outnumbered," Tyra Batts concluded.

'Unacceptable, Insensitive and Not Representative'

When school officials didn't do enough to investigate why the fight took place, Batt's parents contacted a local radio station, and Tyra Batts decided to share her story with the national news.

In response, Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro launched a belated review of the fight that led to Batt's suspension, and was shocked to discover the years-long tradition of N word chanting as a pregame ritual. Claiming total ignorance of the tradition, Mondanaro said school administrators began investigating the minute they learned of it.

The results, as Mondanaro said in a conference, were astonishing. "The insensitive chant is absolutely unacceptable, insensitive and not representative of the diverse student body," he told Batts in an official apology on behalf of his district.

Coach Bondgren Under Scrutiny

The issue, however, is far from resolved.

Once the story broke, the hihg school girls involved in the chants received two-day suspensions and a one game suspension for the season, as well as having practice canceled for a week. School officials and some teammates apologized to Batts and her family.

But beyond some as-yet-undetermined sanctions for several members of Batt's team, that is the extent of that the student were punished, and Batts feels that one person, in particular, is escaping blame altogether: the girls' varsity coach, Kristy Bondgren.

Although Batts can't be sure that Bondgren heard the girls' pre-game chants, in which the N word was frequently and loudly used, she does find it hard to believe that her coach missed some of the other racial slurs that were thrown her way.

According to Batts, racial jokes about slavery, shackles and picking cotton were all commonplace, and some teammates made comments about Batt's skin color. According to the Kenmore East sophomore, Bondgren did nothing to stop them.

Just a 'Joke'?

In the aftermath of Tyra Batts' revelations, some students have tweeted their embarrassment about the incident and their sympathy for Batts. "My school is racist..." one Twitter user wrote, while another tweeted, "soooo ashamed to go to kenmore east."

Racial tension at the school, however, has visibily increased, according to Time reporters. And in an interview with a local radio station, one of Batt's teammates may have made things worse by painting the N word chant as a joke.

Amber Schurter, who is biracial, told WKBW-TV that the racially charged cheer wasn't racist at all, and that the chant, while sounding "a little weird" to people outside the school, wasn't a big deal in the locker room.
A spokesman for the Kenmore School District, who said the chant began last year when a black and white student said it to one another as a "joke," begged to differ.

"This is no laughing matter," he said. "It is not a joke. It is serious."

Below, watch Tyra Batts "blow the whistle" on the N word chant:

NY high school girls basketball team suspended for using racial slur

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cathedral questions Super controversy

By Dan Ventura
Cathedral quarterback Matt Owens sprinted past two Blue Hills defenders and was on his way to the end zone and a potential go-ahead score.

With less than 20 yards away from paydirt and nothing but open space in front of him, Owens clenched his left hand and raised it to the sky.

Unfortunately, that one act, seemingly harmless in the eyes of many in attendance at yesterday’s Division 4A Super Bowl at Bentley University, ran afoul of the new MIAA rule directed at sportsmanship.

Owens was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and the ball was spotted back to the 24. An interception one play later ended Cathedral’s final scoring threat in an eventual 16-14 loss, ending the most successful football season in school history.

After the game, Cathedral coach Duane Sigsbury was quoted in the Sunday Boston Herald as saying, “If you are going to take a game away from a kid being excited because he just made the play of his life shame on you.”

Reached last evening, Sigsbury politely declined comment on advice of school officials. Cathedral athletic director Jimmy Lynch tried to be as diplomatic as possible, but admitted the on-field ruling was a concern to him.

“It’s an unfortunate way to end a great game with two great teams,” Lynch said. “I’ve spoken with people in our school and we’d like to get a further clarification of the rule from the MIAA.”

Joe Cacciatore, the assigner for officials in the Catholic Conference and Greater Boston League sympathized with Cathedral, but was quick to defend his comrades in their handling of the situation.

“It’s tough, but the official absolutely made the right call according to the letter of the law,” Cacciatore said. “It says it right there in the rules that any attempt to draw attention to yourself, whether it is pointing the finger, raising a fist or anything like that, is a penalty.

“We’ve been instructed to call it when it happens, it’s zero tolerance now. I served as a liaison for the two semifinal games at Andover Tuesday night, and that was one of the first thing we talked about with the coaches and captains.”

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Tabor's Coronel commits to Maine

By Pete Warner, BDN Staff

Dimitry Coronel of Tabor Academy and Barry Webster of Lee Academy have both given verbal commitments to accept basketball scholarships from the University of Maine.

The verbals were reported on the website.

UMaine head coach Ted Woodward is prohibited by NCAA rules from commenting on a recruit until the school has received his signed National Letter of Intent. The early signing period begins Nov. 9.

Coronel is a 6-foot-4 swing player from Boston who played his first three years at East Boston High School before transferring to Tabor Academy, in Marion, Mass., a year ago. There, he earned All-New England Preparatory School Athletic Council Class A second-team recognition for coach Chris Millette.

Coronel, who played last summer for the Metro Boston AAU team, reportedly has the ability to shoot from 3-point range but also is an accomplished one-on-one player who can take the ball to the basket.
NERR said Coronel made his decision after visiting the Orono campus last weekend and watching the Black Bears go through practices.

Webster is a 6-10 post player from England who will further diversify UMaine’s international flavor.
Webster attended Burleigh Community College in Leicestershire, England, prior to coming to the U.S. to attend Lee Academy.

“Barry barely played basketball before he joined, and his improvement has been meteoric,” Phil Gleadell, Burleigh’s head of physical education, said last spring in a school newsletter about U.S.-bound athletes.
Webster is a native of Coalville, Leiscestershire, England, and spoke about his opportunity in the same Burleigh CC publication.

“I travelled to the U.S. last summer (2010) with a team organized by Guildford Heat coach Creon Raftopoulos to play in an AAU tournament in Florida, and it was a great experience,” Webster said. “Now going there full time is a dream come true.”

The participation of Coronel and Webster at UMaine is contingent upon their acceptance by the university and compliance with NCAA initial-eligibility guidelines.


Everett takes down BC High

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Everett 35, BC High 21

Eagles sunk by own mistakes, turnovers

EVERETT -When Everett quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso was dragged down in the backfield by BC High’s Luke Catarius on third-and-9 late in the third quarter, it was all but guaranteed the Eagles would get the ball back in decent field position with a chance to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter.

But as Gilly DeSouza got the kick away for Everett, the flags hit the ground. The roughing the kicker call gave the ball back to the Crimson Tide with a first down.

After a holding call on first down gave Everett a first-and-20 at its 44, Jalen McRae hauled in a 64-yard touchdown pass from DiBiaso (15-of-29 passing, 246 yards, one interception) to put the Crimson Tide ahead by the final score, 35-21.

“There was a few plays, not just that [roughing the kicker],’’ BC High coach Jon Bartlett said. “There was a few plays that we hurt ourselves . . . there was a number of times that we shot ourselves in the foot.’’

For the most part, the Eagles (4-3) managed to shut down the Everett offense in the fourth quarter. The Crimson Tide managed only one first down in the two possessions after recovering a Gordon McLeod fumble on a punt return. But a fumble recovery by DeSouza late in the quarter and an unsportsmanlike conduct on the Eagles’ last possession helped Everett hold on.

“Yeah they held us in check, they covered well,’’ said Everett coach John DiBiaso. “They were all over our receivers But we still put 35 up.’’

In an attempt to keep the ball away from Eagles running back Preston Cooper, the Crimson Tide (7-0) opened with a short, high kick that caught BC High by surprise and was recovered by Everett’s Jalen Felix. Five plays later Vondell Langston (19 carries, 86 yards) scored on a 12-yard touchdown run.

“We weren’t really trying to recover it, we just weren’t going to kick it to Cooper,’’ coach DiBiaso said. “It worked out to our benefit because they dropped back and let it hit the ground.’’

The Eagles pulled even with a 72-yard touchdown pass from Bartley Regan (7-of-16 passing, 176 yards, two touchdowns) to Lincoln Collins, but the Crimson Tied came back with a seven-play, 74-yard drive. Langston punched it in from three yards out to give Everett the lead for good.

Everett extended its lead off of BC High turnovers. In the second quarter, pressure forced Bartley Regan out of the pocket and he tossed up a running pass that was intercepted by Felix, leading to a 2-yard DiBiaso touchdown run. On the next Eagles drive, Regan was intercepted by DeSouza, who returned it 58 yards to the Eagles’ 7. DiBiaso again ran in from 5 yards out to put Everett up, 28-7.

Everett opens up its Greater Boston League schedule Friday against Medford.

“It feels great to beat what I consider a great team,’’ coach DiBiaso said. “I’m very proud of the kids, how they responded, but in all honesty it is a glorified scrimmage because if we come out and we lose a GBL game we don’t go to the playoffs, no matter whether we beat BC High, Xaverian, St. John’s Prep, nobody cares if we don’t go to the playoffs So you can’t have a hiccup the rest of the way.’’


White carries Cards to nice City victory

Photo by Stuart Cahill

Story by Justin Barrasso  |

Isaiabrier White and Madison Park sent a message to Brighton with a convincing 36-14 victory yesterday in a crossover Boston City League contest at White Stadium.

“Just find holes and run through them,” said a humble White.

Like many of his teammates, White hardly ever sat as he played both offense and defense. He scored the first two touchdowns of the game to open up a 14-0 lead, and then put the game away in the third quarter with a 45-yard TD run that bruised and battered Bengals linemen.

“You try to play 100 percent on both sides of the ball, but it just happens that I played better on offense,” said White.

His play was exactly what Madison Park (4-1) needed to provide some distance from an explosive opponent in Brighton (3-3).

“He’s elusive,” said Madison Park coach Roosevelt Robinson. “You go one way and he goes the other.”
Cardinals quarterback Jamal Leary also threw for two touchdowns, connecting with receivers Dalvin Green and David Stewart. The 35-yard TD toss to Green gave MP a 22-0 lead with 4:43 left in the first half.
“It’s his first year playing quarterback,” said Roosevelt. “He’s taken his role very seriously and is throwing very well.”

Leary is becoming more comfortable in the pocket.

“I’ve been a receiver all my life . . . but you just have to keep your composure and play with the best of your ability,” said Leary.

Coming off a bye week, Madison Park put together a plan to try to contain Brighton senior quarterback Jonathan Marrero, who threw for a touchdown and also had an 85-yard TD reception from sophomore Jalen Apperwhite.

“We try to really get the guys to understand the formations and how they’re supposed to attack on defense,” said Roosevelt, “and we attack every formation.”

With a critical matchup at South Boston next week, this was a game Madison Park needed to assert itself with its physical style of play.

“The pass was tough for us today on the spread because you’re thinned out, but we overcame it,” said Roosevelt.

“We’ve got to work on a few things, but we came out pretty well.”

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