A ban­ner with bag­gage

Soc­cer ti­tle tar­nished by player, coach sus­pen­sions

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

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.

Of­fi­cial’s re­port

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.

Dom­i­nate per­for­mance

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.

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