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Game called off because of alcohol violations

Maynard-Clinton tradition on hold

By Travis Andersen
Globe Staff / November 23, 2010

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The Thanksgiving Day football game between Maynard High School and Clinton High has been canceled after four Maynard players were suspended because they were intoxicated on the night of the homecoming dance, a school official said yesterday.

Superintendent Mark R. Masterson of Maynard said in a statement that three students arrived drunk to the dance Friday.

He said the incident prompted Maynard police to visit a residence in town, where they found two more intoxicated students, one of whom was placed in protective custody until his parents came home, according to the superintendent.

Masterson said in a telephone interview that four of the students are upperclassmen on the football team and that the fifth is not an athlete. He said the players were barred from Thursday’s game and the first 25 percent of games in their next season of their sport, under guidelines of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

“With only 12 remaining players, the Maynard High School football coaches cannot safely field a team for the annual Thanksgiving Day game against Clinton,’’ Masterson said in his statement.

He added that three of the players received disciplinary hearings on the night of the incident.

The three athletes who were intoxicated at the dance were suspended from school and the game, the athlete who was found at the house was suspended from the game because of MIAA rules, and the student who is not a member of the football team was not disciplined because he was not on school property, according to Masterson.

“The parents were cooperative in the hearings,’’ Masterson said by phone.

Masterson said the decision marked the first time the Thanksgiving game or any other sporting event had been canceled because of an alcohol violation. He called the punishments “standard and appropriate.’’

Maynard School Committee members and Maynard High coach Kevin Capone could not be reached for comment.

Superintendent Terrance Ingano of Clinton said that he was “more angry than anything else’’ when he received word of the cancellation.

“Not for me personally, but for our team and our students, especially our seniors,’’ Ingano said, adding that Clinton High has played Maynard on Thanksgiving with few interruptions since the mid-1930s.

He said the seniors are honored at midfield each year, and there were plans to honor them along with members of the golf and cross-country teams this year.

“Now we’re trying to scramble to maybe come up with some kind of recognition ceremony for the kids on Thanksgiving morning,’’ he said.

Despite the community’s disappointment, Ingano said that he believes Masterson made the right decision.

“There’s not much you can do,’’ he said. “The trouble becomes, now it’s two schools that are affected.’’

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com.