Chaminade was awarded the CHSAA/state Class AAA boys lacrosse championship after the CHSAA sanctioned St. Anthony’s for using an ineligible player and canceled Thursday’s scheduled championship game.
“It was an administrative violation on our part, not academic-related whatsoever,” St. Anthony’s athletic director Joe Minucci said. “When I found out that we had an ineligible player on our roster, we self-reported it to the league, which felt it necessary to impose sanctions.”
Minucci confirmed those sanctions were handed out during Wednesday’s scheduled league meeting. They included the Friars forfeiting all boys lacrosse contests played during the 2017 season and being ineligible for Thursday’s scheduled title game. Additionally, Minucci said, the ineligible player was removed from the roster.
“On Saturday, a question was raised to me regarding our roster,” Minucci said. “When I was made aware of the ineligible player, we were forthcoming to the league. Both schools are extremely disappointed but we thought it was important to make clear that we do a great job of self-policing and our league does a great job of dealing with internal issues quickly and properly.”
St. Anthony’s had posted an 11-4 record and was hoping to reverse a 12-6 loss at Chaminade on April 5. “For our purposes and our records, we will be 0-for-the-season,” Minucci said.
St. Anthony’s was hoping to grab a share of the league and state titles with a victory at home Thursday. “There was a lot of crying and a lot of disappointment among the players,” Friars coach Keith Wieczorek said. “I was crying as well. It’s an unexpected way for the seniors to end their careers. But we respect what the school and the league decided to do. Still, it’s devastating when you see the eyes of the seniors.”
Chaminade coach Jack Moran expressed similar sentiments. “The kids were obviously disappointed. We understand the decision, but for the seniors, they’ve been looking forward to their last high school game all year and then 24 hours before, it’s canceled,” he said. “When you’re a high school athlete and you walk off the field for the last time, win or lose, you never forget it. And that’s been taken away from them.”