Progressive Christian Academy's team was barred from competing in this weekend's St. Vincent Pallotti Duals after officials found that facing the private school's home-schooled athletes could jeopardize the eligibility of public school wrestlers.
Pallotti athletic director Steve Walker made his ruling yesterday after consulting with Greg LaGrande, assistant director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association. "We have [public schools] Eleanor Roosevelt and Laurel. We were told in order to receive a sanction, public schoolers can't wrestle home schoolers," Walker said.
Public school athletes can compete "only against high schools whose students are officially registered with, attending and intending to graduate from that school," LaGrande said.
LaGrande said penalties might await MPSSAA schools that competed in last month's 17-team Lackey wrestling tournament, won by Progressive Christian, pending an investigation into its use of home schoolers and alleged use of eighth-graders. Broadneck and South River of Anne Arundel County competed in that tournament.
MPSSAA wrestling chairman Duke Beattie said facing an eighth-grader is a violation. Violators could face loss of eligibility and postseason qualifying points, as well as suspension. Coaches could face disciplinary action, and Lackey could lose its right to host tournaments, said Baltimore County athletics coordinator Ron Belinko.