April 23, 2018

Opener between No. 6 McDonogh and No. 21 Pallotti cancelled

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MCDONOGH — The No. 6 McDonogh Eagles and the No. 21 St. Vincent Pallotti Panthers were ready to clash on Saturday night in a battle between a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference power and the reigning B Conference champions.

Then, on Friday at 4:30 p.m., the contest was downgraded to a scrimmage, and roughly 10 minutes before kickoff on Saturday, the whole thing was officially cancelled. 

As players warmed up for the scrimmage, members of the Pallotti team crossed midfield, apparently talking trash to McDonogh players. New reports claim the two sides — players in general — have trash-talked back and forth for the past week. McDonogh coach Dom D’amico subsequently yanked his team off the field and opted not to play, avoiding the possibility of things escalating.

Depending on who you ask, Pallotti coaches were also involved in the pregame verbal bombard. No statement has been made on whether the league will get involved to take disciplinary action or not.

The plan was to play three game-like quarters with starters, and then use second and third-stringers in the fourth and final frame.

Now to clarify why an actual game wasn’t played: On Friday afternoon, Pallotti athletic director Pat Courtemanche, also the chairman of the MIAA football committee, notified McDonogh athletic director’s Mickey Deegan and Matt MacMullan that the Panthers have six starters and key players who have not completed the league’s heat acclimatization policy and were therefore ineligible to play in the Week 0 opener.

According to MIAA rules, players must complete the 14 days of practice to meet the policy before an actual game is played. Players missed days for doctor’s appointments or going out of town, Katherine Dunn of the Baltimore Sun reports.

And since the MIAA decided to start practice on August 10, one practice missed means ineligibility on opening night.

“The league made the choice to start [practice] 14 days before the first open date,” Pallotti coach Ian Thomas told The Baltimore Sun of the Aug. 10 starting date. “The guys had no room for error for missing practices, so there were guys who only missed one practice and didn’t have 14 practices, so unfortunately we couldn’t play. They were mostly guys in positions that we were lacking [depth] and we would have been forced to put freshmen in and I don’t think that would have been a safe thing to do.”

Though Pallotti technically forfeited the contest, D’amico said both teams will remain 0-0 since the contest flipped to a scrimmage the night prior.

Both sides will now turn to Week 1, as McDonogh welcomes La Salle College out of Wyndmoor, Pa. next Friday at 6 p.m., while Pallotti prepares for St. Mary’s out of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference next Friday at 7 p.m.

About Kyle McFadden 416 Articles
Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School's Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore's student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles. McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access. With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels. McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church -- serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night. Although he's only been around journalism since January 2014, he's a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post. McFadden's work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He's also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists. McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor's degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.
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