BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Brunswick High School Athletic Director Jeff Ramich confirmed Tuesday that school officials are investigating the involvement of 15 students -- including at least three members of the boys soccer team -- in an underage drinking party on Saturday night.
Ramich said that while the investigation continues, the students will not participate in any athletic events, including the team's last regular-season soccer game Tuesday night against arch-rival Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.
Brunswick is ranked 6th of 13 teams in Eastern Maine Class A soccer Heal Point standings. If the rankings don't change, Brunswick would play Bangor High School in an Eastern Maine Class A tournament quarterfinal on Oct. 30.
Just after 11 p.m. Saturday, Brunswick police responded to an anonymous tip and found 15 partygoers -- all students at Brunswick High School and all younger than 21 -- in an unattached barn near the home of 18-year-old Satchel Toole, Deputy Chief Marc Hagan of the Brunswick Police Department said Monday. The students were allegedly drinking beer and mixed drinks.
Toole was charged with providing a place for minors to consume alcohol, a Class D misdemeanor. All other partygoers -- twelve 16- and 17-year-olds, as well as Angelo Gerardi and Cormick Gaughran, both 18 -- were charged with illegal possession of alcohol by a minor. All live in Brunswick, according to Hagan.
Ramich on Tuesday would not confirm how many of the 15 students are members of the soccer team. He said he could not discuss specific students.
According to the Brunswick School Department's chemical abuse procedures, any athlete who uses an alcoholic beverage "will be suspended from all athletic and/or non-athletic activities for the minimum of ten (10) athletic and/or non-athletic participation days or the number of school days recommended by the substance abuse team."
For students who disclose a violation of the policy, suspension begins the day of disclosure, the policy states. In other instances, suspension begins the day a transgression is verified by school officials.
Furthermore, the student "upon returning to the activity may not participate in any contest or competition until a minimum of five (5) days of athletic and/ or non-athletic extracurricular participation has been completed."
The student must also meet with a substance abuse counselor three times before participating in an athletic event.
Brunswick High School Principal Donna Borowick did not return a phone call Monday, and Assistant Principal Tim Gagnon did not immediately return a phone call on Tuesday.