The EGHS Boys Lacrosse team was due to play Barrington Friday (5/26/23) in the first round of the playoffs but players and their families were told Thursday evening the school was withdrawing from the match because it was “unable to field a team.”
This comes after alcohol was found on a rented bus carrying a few dozen students to the EGHS prom May 12 and the school said all the EG students on the bus would face “social suspension” (not being allowed to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports). No students have been identified.
Students and their families have argued that not everyone on the bus was drinking and many have appealed their suspension, according to a parent who asked not to be identified.
Supt. Brian Ricca Friday declined to offer a reason for the playoff game withdrawal, saying, “I cannot comment on the reasons why the Boys Lacrosse was unable to field a team.”
The withdrawal effectively ends the season for the Avengers; there are 14 seniors on the team.
At least one parent of a member of the Boys LAX team decried the decision to withdraw, saying that even if a number of players were deemed ineligible, they could go with who they have left and bring up some JV players. In lacrosse, 10 players take the field per team; the EG roster lists 30 players.
According to Tom Marcello, assistant executive director for the R.I. Interscholastic League, which manages sports for middle and high schools in the state, eligibility is up to the individual school district. “We don’t determine eligibility,” he said. When asked about having JV players swing up, he said, “I think there’s a distinction between what’s allowed and what’s safe,” in a sport like lacrosse.