RECENT ARTICLES
  • School Stunned by Suicides of Football Player Friends

    by David O'Reilly; Inquirer Staff Writer January 2015

    In the wake of two student suicides in four days, the Burlington Township School District brought counselors into the high school Tuesday to assist students with their grieving and guard against further loss.

  • Rejection of IHSA Playoff Change a Win for Tradition

    by MIKE CLARK. mclark@tribpub.com Twitter: @mikeclarkpreps January 2015

    When the results of this year's amendment voting came out on Tuesday morning, plenty of people were paying attention to one item in particular: Proposal 10.

  • IHSA Posts 145 State Title Hoops Games on YouTube

    by Jim Leitner TH sports editor January 2015

    Illinois high school basketball fans received a large dose of March Madness for the holidays last season. During the holiday break, the Illinois High School Association posted the videos of 145 boys and girls state basketball championship games to its YouTube channel. The videos are free of charge for anyone using a computer, tablet or smartphone.

  • Sayreville AD Suspended Amid Hazing Investigation

    by Emily Attwood December 2014

    The Board of Education voted on Tuesday night to suspend the Sayreville High School athletic director amid an investigation into the hazing scandal involving its football program. The football team's season came to an abrupt and early end in October following allegations of harassment, bullying and sexual assault. 

    The board voted 8-0 to suspend athletic director John Kohutanycz with pay, effective December 17. The school's football coach, George Najjar, has been suspended since October, though four assistant coaches suspended at that time have been reinstated. 

    At Tuesday night's meeting, the board also approved the hiring of one of those assistant football coaches, Michael Novak, as the school's new strength coach, a position Najjar held until his suspension. The move was a controversial one among board members, some of whom felt that Novak should not have been considered for the position because of his connection to the football hazing investigation. Said one board member in a written statement, "I voted no on appointing Michael Novak as strength and conditioning coach because I don't believe that any of the football coaches should be returning to any coaching position at this time."

    Seven players have been charged as part of the ongoing investigation, though no coaches or administrators have faced charged.

     

  • Should a HS Game Be Replayed Due to Ref's Mistake?

    by Andrew Brandt December 2014

    In Oklahoma, a high school football game has never been replayed for legal reasons.

  • High School Football Participation Up After Decline

    by Dennis Van Milligen December 2014

    When you take a quick look at recent youth and high school football participation numbers, the picture isn't very pretty. Participation in Pop Warner decreased nearly 10 percent from 2010 to 2012, and numerous state high school associations have reported similar declines in their respective football numbers — since 2007, for example, Michigan's numbers have decreased more than 10 percent. According to statistics from the National Federation of State High School Associations, from 2007 to 2012, nationwide participation dipped by 20,000.

  • New Transgender Athlete Policies Approved in Minn., Va.

    by Emily Attwood December 2014

    Following successful votes by their respective high school governing bodies, transgender student-athletes at high schools in Minnesota and Virginia will be able to participate in sports based on their identified gender. 

    "I applaud the Minnesota High School League's decision to pass a proposal that tells trans students in our community their identities matter just as much as everyone else's," said Congressman Keith Ellison in a written statement. "At a time when so many transgender students are bullied and harassed in the schoolyard, the MSHSL's decision recognizes their dignity and humanity on and off the playing field. All trans students are asking for is to be treated as human beings and I stand with them."

    READ MORE REACTION

    The policy has been getting a lot of attention in Minnesota over the past few months, delaying a vote initially planned for October after more than 10,000 emails were sent to league officials voicing opinions on the issue. Once again, supporters and opponents of the policy packed the meeting room for this week's vote, holding signs expressing their opinions. The new policy, approved by 18 of 20 board members, specifically addresses the participation of students born male but identifying as female participating in girls' sports, as state law already allows for girls' participation in boys' sports.

    "We would not want to take away that privilege from anyone, but the answer is not to say that you should be given special privileges above and beyond everyone else," said Autumn Leva of the Minnesota Family Council, which submitted a petition with more than 5,000 signatures opposing the policy. "The answer isn't to say we're just going to completely ignore physical realities, especially in the world of physical sports." 

    The new policy in Virginia amends one passed by the Virginia High School League last February that included the requirement that students must undergo gender reassignment surgery before being allowed to play for a team matching their identified gender. The requirement was viewed as too strict and unobtainable, since reassignment surgery is rarely approved for those under the age of 18.

    RELATED: AIA Approves First Out Transgender HS Athlete

    While the new policy removes this restriction, students must still meet a variety of criteria before their participation on a particular sports team is approved. Students must submit a personal statement affirming their gender identity, as well as testimonies from family or peers, and must demonstrate that they have begun some type of hormone therapy. 

    The materials must then be submitted to the VHSL district committee, which will review the materials and make a recommendation to VHSL’s executive director. If the request is approved, a student is immediately eligible to begin participating in a sport. If denied, a student can appeal the decision.

    In Minnesota, students must submit statements from parents and healthcare professionals, leaving the decision up to the school's activities director, though appeals will be conducted by an independent party. The new policy will take effect beginning with the 2015-16 school year. Private schools will be exempt from the policy under state and federal law. The MHSL’s approval of the new policy brings the number of states with some type of policy addressing transgender student participation in high school activities to 33.

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  • No Green Light for Helmet Sensors at Va. High Schools

    by Andrew Brandt November 2014

    Last March, Bethesda, Md., company Brain Sentry offered to supply every high school football and lacrosse player in Loudon County, Va. with helmet impact sensors that light up when they're hit with a force of 80G or higher.

  • HS Football Team Rides 57 Straight Losses into Playoffs

    by Andrew Brandt November 2014

    In the midst of a 57-game losing streak and an 0-10 season, the Houston Scarborough Spartans are getting into the Texas high school football playoffs.

  • Turf Type Has Impact on Maryland Field Hockey

    by Andrew Brandt November 2014

    High school field hockey participants in Maryland have found themselves on unstable ground.