This was a great article that raises the question,why are Highschool state athletic assosiations such dickweeds?
The smallest-brained crustaceans are water fleas.The smallest brained parasites are flatworms.And the smallest brained mammals are the men and women who run highschool athletics in the state of Washington.Listen to what they did,and tell me it doesn't make you want to chew through concrete.
Archbishop Murphy High in Everett opened the football season this fall with a dying coach,the legendary Terry Ennis,whose 287 wins are second most in state history.The school had begged him to come out of retirement seven years ago to kick-start the wildcats new football program and be the athletic director.
Ennis then did what he'd been doing for29 years.He turned Archbishop Murphy's kids into young men who wear ties and look you in the eye and win football games.He won two state titles and went 73-12in his first seven seasons with the Wildcats.
But before this one ,Ennis told his players that his prostate cancer had a hold of him,bad.He was going to keep working, though, because Terry Ennis would rather have worn a tutu than quit on his team.Coaching sometimes from a chair,he won the first two games, then died three days later.
"We sat in the locker room and cried for hours,"says senior co-captain Ryan Bourke,"and we all talked about how we wanted to win state for him."
And so they won their next seven games-under Ennis's brother in law Rick Stubrud- then won a district qualifier and got ready for state.
But then fell a tiny little raindrop that turned into the Johnstown flood.
Two weeks ago,new co-athletic director Patti Means was looking over players' physical-exam certificates-sifting through all of Ennis's cartons and confusion as she took over some of his old duties -and discovered one player whose physical had not been updated.
Pretty understandable mistake .The guy in charge of those kinds of things died four days after the kids' physical expired.Plus, this kid's home life was going through a blender.His mom had moved to Yakima,his dad was gone,and he was living with friends.Stuff tends to slip through cracks that big.
Means told the kid to go get a physical that day,which he did,and passed.Then she notified the conference of the error.
"We thought they'd look at these extaordinary circumstances and use discretion,"Stubrud recalls."I mean,it's not like we were trying to fudge the rules.This happened the very week Terry died."
But instead, the conference-without allowing Archbishop Murphy a formal defense-made the wildcats forfeit every game they'd played after their physical expired and kicked the team out of the playoffs.Worse,that ruling was rubber stamped by the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association. So much for discretion.
Again, the players sat in the locker room and cried.And why wouldn't they?In one season they'd watched their coach die and then their dreams.
If those one-celled organisms on those boards had any sense of right and wrong ,they would've given Archbishop Murphy a punishment that fit the crime.Maybe suspend the kid from the playoffs.But throw the Wildcats out of the postseason,over paperwork?That's like giving a jaywalker the chair.
How could the state come to such a flatworm headed desicion?
"Well I'm not sure you know the whole story,"said Al Falkner ,WIAA executive board president.The school admitted that in august that he would become ineligible on September 8th and he should update the physical.Apparently,in all the things that happen sometimes,that was forgotten."
In all the things that happen sometimes?You mean,like the kidhaving his home pulled out from under him and his coach dying in the middle of the season?Boy,what kind of rotten kid would forget that?
Makes me want to ralph.
As usual in these things ,the kids are acting more like adults then the adults.Bourke and his fellow seniors have have dedicated themselves to getting the rule changed so that other teams don't have to get the frying pan in the face they got.
Meanwhile,Bourke keeps thinking about what Coach Ennis would be saying to them right now."He'd be going,"Men,it's not about what happened.It's about what you do from this point forward that will define you as a man."
Ennis was a cool guy.Too bad he never coached the dolts in charge.