Salesianum threatens DIAA with court docket motion over 3-game soccer schedule

Salesianum threatens DIAA with court action over 3-game football schedule

Brad Myers
| Delaware Information Journal


Hodgson scores huge win over Salesianum: Delaware highschool soccer

Hodgson received an enormous sport towards Salesianum, 33 – 20, at A.I. DuPont Excessive Faculty on Friday night time.

Salesianum Faculty has threatened to go to court docket to cease Delaware’s delayed highschool soccer season if an answer can’t be discovered to permit the Sals to play a full seven-game schedule this fall.

Salesianum President Brendan Kennealey despatched a letter to Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Affiliation Chairperson Bradley Layfield on Monday, expressing his frustration over DIAA declining to behave to assist the Sals fill their soccer schedule, which presently has solely three video games.

Within the letter, Kennealey wrote, “Now we have exhausted all of our choices and we’re left with a alternative of both enjoying a three-game schedule or pursuing a short lived restraining order which might place an injunction on the whole DIAA highschool soccer season till the difficulty is corrected.

“It’s inextricable that now we have reached this level and can be a colossal waste of time and vitality if DIAA continues to abdicate its accountability and permit this to occur, however Salesianum intends to play a full seven-game season and to be handled equitably.”

Learn the whole letter under.

Layfield couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

DIAA Government Director Donna Polk stated Monday afternoon that she had not seen the letter.

“We’ve acquired a number of issues at this time, so I can’t say which letter you presently have proper now,” Polk stated. “I’m unsure I’m going to have the ability to communicate on that as a result of it’s a authorized matter.”

In an interview with Delaware On-line/The Information Journal on Monday night time, Kennealey described the issue as a easy problem.

“We all know that this may be fastened in 5 minutes,” Kennealey stated. “This could not take a very long time. [DIAA] has simply kind of sat again and stated we all know that it is a drawback, however we’re not going to actually do something about it.

“However as you understand, the season is beginning. We’re solely a few weeks away, so time is brief.”

At the latest DIAA board of administrators assembly, on Oct. 8, Layfield put forth a movement to direct the DIAA Soccer Committee to get rid of computerized playoff bids for 2 convention winners for this yr.

Layfield’s hope was that, with out the significance of an computerized bid at stake, the Blue Hen Convention would loosen its scheduling guidelines and permit some flexibility for Flight A groups to play Salesianum.

However the movement failed by an 8-5 vote.

Salesianum is the one private-school Division I soccer workforce within the state – and the one D-I workforce not in a convention. In a daily season shortened to simply seven video games because of the coronavirus, the Sals have been capable of schedule solely three video games – all towards Henlopen North opponents.

Kennealey additionally wrote, “As academic leaders navigate the challenges of opening faculties within the midst of a pandemic, I discover it regrettable that a lot effort and time is being wasted on scheduling soccer video games. It’s an utter failure of mission on behalf of the DIAA to single out Salesianum and marginalize our alternative to take part in soccer this yr. Worse, it’s a pricey distraction that was simply avoidable.”

HOW WE GOT HERE: Salesianum soccer left with 3 video games as DIAA board declines to behave

PLAYOFF PICTURE: What we all know in a season sophisticated by coronavirus

The DIAA Soccer Committee voted on Wednesday to require groups to play at the least 5 video games to achieve the postseason. So if nothing adjustments, Salesianum might be ineligible for the playoffs earlier than the delayed season even begins on Oct. 23.

“Presently, the very best I can inform Salesianum is I want you lots of luck in making an attempt to achieve out to of us in Pennsylvania,” Layfield informed Salesianum athletic director Scott Mosier instantly after the vote.

“I thanks for the time,” Mosier responded. “I hoped we may preserve this in-state with DIAA, however we’ll look out of state.”

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Sallies has performed many out-of-state soccer opponents earlier than. Over the earlier 10 seasons, the Sals performed a mixed 28 video games towards groups from Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.

However this yr is totally different. Lots of these states – like Delaware – are simply beginning their soccer seasons and groups could not have many open dates.

Plus, Delaware and Michigan are the one two states nationwide which are requiring highschool soccer gamers to put on masks whereas enjoying. So though Salesianum is able to minimize the ribbon on the model new Abessinio Stadium throughout the road from its Wilmington campus, it’s unlikely that any out-of-state opponent can be keen to return to Delaware and put on masks after they may breathe simpler at dwelling.

COOPERATIVE EFFORT: COVID-19 security plan by Delaware’s H.S. soccer coaches was key to return of fall sports activities

Touring out of state seemingly isn’t an possibility both, because the Delaware Division of Public Well being seemingly wouldn’t permit a Delaware soccer workforce to play towards an opponent that wasn’t sporting masks.

Plus, Mosier identified that Delaware is presently on New Jersey’s quarantine listing, which might require the Sals to isolate in that state for 14 days earlier than enjoying a sport.

So the Sals are nearly actually restricted to in-state opponents, and to date, Mosier’s scheduling efforts haven’t been very profitable.

“Now we have reached out to each faculty that has an open date,” Mosier stated in the course of the assembly. “None of them are keen to play us.”

When the DIAA board voted on Sept. 10 to reinstate fall sports activities, the race started for the state’s 44 soccer groups to fill their shortened, seven-game schedules.

The Henlopen Convention, which covers Kent and Sussex counties, has eight soccer groups in its Northern (massive faculties) Division and 6 groups in its Southern (small faculties) Division. That left Henlopen South groups to play 5 video games towards one another and two video games exterior of the convention.

The Henlopen North allowed Milford and Polytech – the 2 smallest faculties in that division – to additionally play groups exterior of the convention. That gave the opposite six North groups one sport of flexibility, and three of them – Dover, Smyrna and Sussex Central – agreed to play Salesianum.

The Blue Hen Convention, which consists of New Fortress County public faculties, locations its eight largest faculties in Flight A and the eight smallest in Flight B.

Blue Hen voted to play convention video games solely in soccer, and with every workforce locked in to seven convention opponents, there was no scheduling flexibility.

Earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic drastically altered everybody’s lives in March, most Delaware excessive faculties had already stuffed what they thought can be 10-game soccer schedules this fall. Mosier stated 5 Flight A faculties – Middletown, Appoquinimink, Hodgson, St. Georges and William Penn – had agreed to play Salesianum.

That modified when the season was shortened to seven video games. So now it seems that Sallies’ solely hope is to attraction to the Blue Hen to vary its scheduling guidelines and provides a number of keen groups the pliability to play the Sals.

“We’re going to achieve out to Blue Hen Convention Flight A, realizing that Henlopen North doesn’t play everyone of their convention and has an computerized bid,” Mosier stated after the Thursday assembly. “I believe it’s truthful to ask Flight A why they don’t have the identical coverage, and if they’d permit to nonetheless have an computerized bid with out having to play each workforce of their convention.

“If Blue Hen Flight A groups like Middletown and Appo and Hodgson and William Penn wish to play Sallies, I’m hopeful they’ll be capable of discover a technique to do it with assist from [the conference].”

DIAA board members Dr. Bradley Bley, Mike Breeding, Bob Cilento, Evelyn Edney, Kevin Fitzgerald, Doug Thompson, Stan Waterman and Vetra Evans-Gunter voted towards Layfield’s movement to get rid of the automated bids. Kathleen Andrus, Mike Hart, Jeremy Jeanne, Ted Legal guidelines and Layfield voted for it.

With the common season in different fall sports activities beginning Oct. 19 and soccer beginning Oct. 23, the DIAA board will maintain a particular assembly on Thursday. It’s doable that the topic could possibly be revisited at the moment.

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Kennealey capped his letter to Layfield by writing: “On behalf of the scholars of Salesianum, I implore you to please urge your fellow members to rapidly restore equity and fairness to Salesianum by pursuing any of the easy cures already mentioned, all of which might permit Salesianum to create a full schedule. In these very tough occasions, athletics provide normalcy, camaraderie, and hope. Let’s preserve it that means. Repair the difficulty and let’s play some soccer.”

Contact Brad Myers at Observe on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ

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