A banner with baggage
Soccer title tarnished by player, coach suspensions
There was plenty to celebrate at Carbonear Collegiate last week after the boys’ team captured the AAA provincial soccer banner following a hard-fought tournament win in St. Lawrence on Oct. 15.
But the team also carried home some added baggage that tainted what should have been a milestone accomplishment for the Carbonear school.
Two players were suspended during the tournament for alleged unsportsmanlike conduct on the field, and coach Don Coombs was also suspended.
The duration of the suspensions, which were handed down by School Sports Newfoundland and Labrador, the body that governs school athletics in this province, is unknown.
An official with School Sports NL, Karen Richard, would only say: “the suspensions are for unsportsmanlike conduct on the field.”
School principal Eddie Russell declined comment, saying the matter was in the hands of School Sports NL, and that the appeal process was underway.
Because of their ages, The Compass is not publishing the names of the two players.
Coombs not happy
When a student is suspended by School Sports NL, he or she is prohibited from participating in any athletic event sanctioned by the association.
The time of suspension varies, based on the wrongdoing, some suspensions have time restraints, while others depend on the board of directors ruling, said Richard.
The suspensions don’t sit well with Coombs.
“I thought it was handled wrong,” he said. “ We couldn’t get the rules, and there were a number of deficiencies in rules of soccer and what happened the other way.”
Coombs is also coach of the Sentinels’ female soccer team, but due to the suspension, was unable to lead the team during its appearance at the provincials in Stephenville this past weekend.
Coombs said there were steps in the process that were not followed, and he believes the suspensions were “unfair and unjust.”
There were allegations and accusations directed at the two players, who were suspended for the final two games of the tournament, including the semifinals and the finals, said Coombs.
“ They said our boys said something that they didn’t say,” said the coach.
Coombs asked if they could appeal the suspensions, allowing his boys to play in the semifinals.
He was told he would not be able to because “they were not under protest.”
Coombs then went in search of a referee’s report for the game, but could not find one.
When he was able to track down a referee’s report, Coombs said, there was nothing in the report about the alleged incident.
“ We couldn’t get the information we asked for,” said the coach. “It should have been better.”
Coombs said he still does not know why his players were suspended.
“I asked, ‘ how come these players are suspended,’ and they couldn’t tell me.”
Coombs, also the mayor of Harbour Grace, said he does not know the length of his suspension, but he is planning on appealing the ruling.
Meanwhile, in the championship game, the Sentinels edged Mealy Mountain Collegiate of Happy-Valley Goose Bay 4-3.
Over the course of the tournament, the Carbonear team outscored their opponents by a combined score of 27-12.
On their way to the title, the Sentinels doubled Gander Collegiate 42, and thumped Mealy Mountain 62 in Game 2.
Next to fall was St. Kevin’s of the Goulds, who was trounced 8-1 by the Carbonear team.
In semifinal action, Carbonear overcame plenty of adversity to slip by Clarenville High by a score of 5-4. The Sentinels were down three players heading into the match, including the two suspensions and an injury.
Down 4-2 at one point in the game, Coombs said the team “refused to lose,” and stormed back to claim victory.
Carbonear’s most sportsmanlike player was Tyler Butt, who was described by Coombs as “the best player in the tournament.”
“It was a great win and getting the AAA school banner is a great way to start the year,” Principal Russell said.
The Carbonear Collegiate Sentinels captured the AAA boys’ soccer provincial title in St. Lawrence Oct. 15 with a 4-3 win over Mealy Mountain Collegiate in the championship game. Team members include: Front (l-r) — Justin Murray and Tyler Butt; middle — Patrick Jayne, Kelton Piercey, Matthew McCarthy, Cody Peddle, Jordan Penney and Greg King; back — manager Ann Coombs-Quinlan, Aaron Bailey, Jason Penney, Jessie Moores, Brandon Parsons, assistant coach Gerard Brenton, Zachery Quinlan, Mitchell Brenton, Nick Rossiter, Todd Nowak, Mitchell Trickett,trainer Ross Butt and head coach Don Coombs.