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On January 13, The Covenant School defeated Dallas Academy by a score of 100-0 in a District match-up for girls varsity basketball.
Covenant’s Head of the School Kyle Queal is very remorseful about the events that transpired on the 13th. He said, "It was poor judgment. I look at the box score and look at the box score, and it was not justified. It will never happen again."
Edd Burleson, director of the 236-member Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS), is disappointed in the outcome of the game. “Our motto is 'Competition With Honor,' " he said. "I can't see how the one school can live up to that."
In the wake of all the bad press associated with the victory, Covenant has sent an email to the TAPPS to declare its desire to forfeit the game. The message from Queal and Todd Doshier, the North Dallas Christian school's chairman, called the 100-0 final a "victory without honor," "shameful" and an "embarrassment."
Dallas Academy athletic director Jeremy Civello said his school accepted the "heartfelt" apology from Queal, and the Covenant’s athletic director Brice Helton.
Civello also said that the girl’s team does not want to be credited with a victory they didn’t earn. "Covenant has a great team," Civello said. "We wish them all the best for the rest of the season. We don't think what happened is a reflection on those girls in any way.” He added, “There are a lot of good people at that school. We hope this blows over."
Civello already considers the game to be a victory for the Dallas Academy girls, "My girls never quit. They played as hard as they could to the very end. They played with all their hearts at 70-nothing, 80-nothing and 100-nothing. I was really proud of them. That's what I told them after the game."
They say that attitude reflects leadership and the attitude shown by the girls is commendable.
Dallas Academy is a school for people with learning disadvantages such as attention span or concentration issues. They have an enrollment of approximately 141 students, eight of which are on the girl’s varsity basketball team. They haven’t won a game in four years. The school slogan is: “Confidence is restored. Frustration is lessened. Barriers are overcome. Learning Takes Place. Success is possible at Dallas Academy.”
The Covenant is 6-3 (not counting the victory over Dallas). Their three losses have come at the hands of larger schools. They are undefeated in the district, winning games 54-29, 66-7, and 77-27.
Remember that the Covenant School is a private Christian school? Their slogan is: “Academic Excellence under the Sovereignty of God” On their website, they state, “We encourage students to seek truth, to develop character, and to serve others.”
What makes this victory so alarming is not how the Convenant girls behaved as I believe they were doing as their coaches instructed. This has more to do with the behavior of the parents and coaches for Covenant. According to eyewitnesses, the parents and one of the assistant coaches were cheering wildly for the Covenant girls and urged them to run the score up in the hopes of achieving 100 points.
The Covenant strategy consisted of a full court press and continued three point attempts well into the fourth quarter. Covenant was winning 59-0 at the half (88-0 at the end of three). Once the 100-point threshold was reached, the team stopped the press and went into run-out-the-clock mode.
Civello commended the Covenant team, "They are really good. Their point guard is terrific. This is what it came down to in the second half: steal at half court and layup. Steal and layup. Steal and layup. It was a layup drill. They finally eased up when they got to 100 with about four minutes left." Sources indicate that Covenant's point guard finished with 48 points.
Covenant coach Micah Grimes said the right things in an email after the game when he said, "It's unfortunate we got to 100 points in the game against Dallas Academy. It just happened, and we are not happy about that.”
They say that actions speak louder than words and Grimes’ words don’t ring in tune with his actions. It is by his direction that the Covenant School continued the full court press and repeated three pointers in an obvious attempt to run the score up on the disadvantaged youth of the Dallas Academy.
I respect the decisions made by the Head of the Covenant School as I believe that a victory without honor is no victory at all. I also respect the statements made by the Dallas Academy athletic director when he refused to accept the forfeit.
I truly believe that prep athletics are about developing people as much as they are about developing players. Only after these two goals are accomplished, then you work to achieve an honorable victory.
As a parent of two children in high school athletics, I am saddened by the message sent to the Covenant girls by their coaching staff and by their parents.
On a final note, I have seen some information that after the game, Dallas Academy informed TAPPS that it was withdrawing it's girl's team from the league for the rest of the season. I hope they change their mind. It sounds like they have good administrators and coaches that have worked hard to keep the team motivated in the face of adversity.
After this statement from the officials of Covenant, "It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christ-like and honourable approach to competition," Head Coach Micah Grimes released a statement of his own.
Grimes said in an email to the "legitimate" media, "In response to the statement posted on The Covenant School website, I do not agree with the apology or the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel embarrassed or ashamed. We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on any opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honour and integrity."
He has been dismissed from the school. Kyle Queal, said in the Dallas Morning News online edition that he could not answer if the firing was a result of Grimes' e-mail.
Sources: Dallasnews.com, Mike and Mike in the Morning Radio Show. Edmontonsun.com