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Ugly with a capital U-G-L-Y [Commentary]

I believe I've written a column before pointing toward the word ugly, but for different and fresher issues.

That said, there's been a few instances that just grab my attention and maybe yours, too.

Let's start with Friday morning, as I'm getting myself going and I take a quick look at email to find one titled Week 1 Correction from Edgewood football coach John Siemsen.

My mind immediately went to a player or players stats corrections, but nope, something a bit more serious, or should I say ugly?

The email stated Edgewood's opening season loss to Aberdeen was now a win by forfeit. No further details were included. Well, of course there had to be details and that's what I instantly sought out. And got.

An email to Aberdeen Athletic Director Tim Lindecamp, whom I consider a friend, revealed such information. An illegal player played in a kickoff late in the game and therefore, folks, you have grounds for a forfeit.

The timing of this could certainly have been much worse. One game as opposed to multiples, as in the case for Joppatowne football in 2008 when the Mariners lost three games to forfeit for the same ineligible player issue.

It hasn't even been a year since the Aberdeen boys basketball team lost 15 games through the forfeit process. That cost then head coach Richard Hart his coaching job. He since retired from teaching.

This latest Aberdeen problem has a few ironic details. Aberdeen coach Johnny Brooks has had an issue or two before, but those came as the football and boys basketball coach at Havre de Grace High School.

Siemsen, in his first year as head coach of the Rams, is no stranger to the head coaching role. Siemsen coached Aberdeen for four years, 2007 to 2010.

The illegal player in question is a transfer student from Havre de Grace. Really? Look, over the past, let's call it a decade, the number of kids who have bounced between Aberdeen and Havre de Grace is way greater than the number posted in the Pittsburgh Steelers loss column.

There was a time, not long ago, that the pasture in Havre de Grace was way more green than that of Aberdeen, or so it seemed. Aberdeen, a math and science magnet though, gets students and sometimes athletes, from all over Harford County. They just don't seem to be the boys I see on the gridiron.

Havre de Grace is not a magnet of any kind that I know of and losing students to various other schools is especially hurtful to the athletic program. For instance, I've heard there are seven freshman girls who could have been playing soccer at Havre de Grace this fall, but are not. Why? I'm told that two moved away, but the other five are attending other high schools, whether that be the magnet variety or one in the private sector.

I get it, education comes first.

Athletics, though, are an important part of the high school process, even when we deal with ugly issues.

The other ugly issue I have seen is that of Manny Machado on Monday. It was hard to watch as with any arm and leg injury we see too often. Machado, a superstar at 21, will hopefully bounce back and be the player we've all grown to love and appreciate.

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