Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lake Braddock Suspends 16 Girls' Soccer Players for Violating Alcohol Policy

Lake Braddock Suspends 16 Girls' Soccer Players for Violating Alcohol Policy

By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, March 26, 2009; E05

Lake Braddock has suspended 16 players from its varsity girls' soccer team after a party that involved alcohol at one of the players' homes earlier this month, according to multiple school sources.

According to Fairfax County Public Schools' participation policy, students who violate the standards of conduct in relation to alcohol are issued a mandatory 30-day suspension. It is not clear how many of the 16 players face the 30-day suspension; sources said not all the players suspended consumed alcohol.

"It's a situation that we're faced with and we'll just work our way through it one day at a time," said Bruins Coach Adam Soos, who would not discuss specifics about the incident and would not name the players involved. "Some choices were made, some consequences were dealt, and we're coping with it day by day."

One source said that the party is an annual event at which freshman players are welcomed to the team, an area power that has won five state titles, including two of the past three Virginia AAA championships.

Fairfax County Director of Athletics Bill Curran said that the incident was investigated.

"The reports of hazing incidents are taken very seriously and they are investigated to the fullest extent," Curran said.

When reached for comment, Lake Braddock Athletic Director Mark Martino said, "We're dealing with it and we're moving on."

The incident occurred on the weekend of March 14, according to one source, who also said that many of the six remaining players who were not suspended were at a showcase tournament in Las Vegas during the time of the incident.

After defeating Langley, 3-0, in its season-opener on March 11, Lake Braddock has been outscored 14-0 in losses to Chantilly, Oakton and Robinson. Because the Bruins would have been unable to field a varsity team, Soos called up seven players from the junior varsity team.

The Bruins will return as many as five players next week and should have the remaining 11 back in time for their April 16 meeting with Annandale, Soos said.

"As quick as we are to punish kids for poor decisions that they make, we also need to provide them with opportunities to redeem themselves," Soos said. "If they choose to do the work to redeem themselves, if they choose to do the work to earn back the trust, then I'm all for it."