Over the last week, I was unhappy to learn that if a soccer match is stopped in the second half by an official, the team that is ahead at the time is declared the winner.
That's what happened in the Sept. 5 match between Magnolia and Wheeling Central, when a referee stopped the match because of "fan dissent" in the Maroon Knight gallery. Ironically, Central was ahead 3-0 and, therefore, was declared the winner.
On that day, the level and nature of the misconduct was sufficiently disruptive that the official ended the game rather than impose a lesser penalty. Soccer matches in West Virginia schools are governed by rules of the National Soccer Federation.
Central already was playing two members short because of two red cards for major violations earlier in the game. The visitors also had four yellow cards for lesser infractions.
What annoys me most about the "fan dissent" rule is that it could become a game-winning strategy. "Okay," the coach says, "as soon as we're ahead, our fans will be continuously disruptive. The ref will stop the game and we'll win."
I'm not suggesting that's what happened Sept. 5. I am suggesting that it could have. A team should not be rewarded for unsportsmanlike conduct at its worst.
The passing of Magnolia Athletic Booster President Gregory "Flash" Bohrer recently was devastating not only to his family, but to the Magnolia Nation. He been hugely active for years in the Blue Eagle Booster organization, most recently serving as president for quite a long time. He will be missed.
I have reported in the past that if you don't see your team's score in the paper, it's probably because I have not received any information on the game(s). Teams want to be covered in the newspaper, but they keep their stats a secret. I want to give credit to all players, but I can't just make up stuff. If I don't have stats, the only thing I will report are scores.
Congrats to Magnolia for defeating my Alumni school, River, last Friday. I was on the sidelines covering the game and had a good time watching these two teams do battle. The Pilot fans were outstanding. However, the student section of Magnolia is still a work in progress.
They were on their feet for the entire game and cheered respectfully. But the gestures they made were appalling and I hope somebody does something about it. It goes way beyond "kids will be kids."
Believe it or not, I was tackled on the Magnolia sideline in the first quarter, fell down, and went boom. But, it was nice that Pilot defender Cody Caldwell, who made the tackle, asked if I was okay.
Actually, the loyal fans from both schools asked me if I was okay. That was much appreciated as I continue to recover and get stronger from knee-replacement surgery this spring.
Finally, I recently took my wife Lynne to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival in New Stanton, Pa., and had a wonderful time. It's less than two hours away. There is only one weekend left, Sept. 29-30, and I recommend it highly. For more information call 724-872-1670, or visit www.pittsburghrenfest.com.