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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Shen hockey suspends 12 on the road

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Shen hockey suspends 12 on the road

I didn't expect this to be my first post for 2009, but it has to take the cake for starting the year off with a bang.

The Shenendehowa ice hockey team has suspended 12 players for violations of both school and athletic code of conduct violations.

I was alerted to this after reading Will Montgomery's story in Sunday's Troy Record.

From the there, the phone calls, both real and anonymous confirmed the story and the apparent violations on the road.

The school district would not provide names of the suspended players or specifics about the infractions, citing school privacy policies.

“We have a large number of athletes who have been suspended from participating in practices and games due to a violation of both our school and athletic code of conduct,” Shenendehowa Director of Physical Education and Athletics Christopher Culnan said. “It was an incident that took place during a school sponsored interscholastic trip out to the SUNY Morrisville tournament.”

Shenendehowa traveled to compete in the SUNY Morrisville tournament on Dec. 29 and defeated Pittsford, 3-2. Later that night and into the evening the violations were said to have been discovered.

“The violations was discovered by the coaching staff and reported to me at 1:30 a.m. that morning by the coach of the team,” Culnan said. “The decision was made to immediately remove any students involved from playing that day (Dec. 30) and potentially more students were not allowed to practice or play during Christmas break pending the outcome of a full investigation was completed.”

According to Culnan because of the nature of the violations and the large group of parents on site, staying with the team in the same hotel, the athletes were immediately placed in their parents’ custody the following morning after conferring with the school administration. The Shenendehowa School Resource Officer and New York State Trooper Dale Palmer, was also contacted.

Now how would you like that drive home from Downstate New York back up to Clifton Park with mom and dad after you were just suspended from the team?

Shenendehowa lost to Whitesboro, 4-3 on Dec. 30 and then fell to rival LaSalle Jan. 3, 3-2, as the Plainsmen dressed only 14 players, including five call-ups from the practice squad.

This isn’t the first time a Shenedehowa athletic team has been in trouble. In March 2008 in an incident deemed the “Hockey House” by press, occurred at a property located at 1542 Route 9 when 23 charges were filed against 13 minors. The charges included third-degree criminal mischief and unlawfully dealing with a child. The Shenendehowa boys varsity lacrosse team also felt the wrath of the school district as 21 players served four and eight game suspensions from their involvement at the off-campus drinking party and subsequent vandalism. Several of the lacrosse players involved were also ice hockey players during the 2007-08 season.

The latest incident could bring even harsher penalties since the violations fall under both the school and athletic codes of conduct.

In our print edition we could not conclude the violation because none of my sources were willing to go on the record. I can confirm that once again this is beyond "boys being boys" and poor judgement was a factor in the misdeeds.

I'll be at Wednesday's game at Glens Falls, the original plan was because it was anticipated as a strong match-up, now it's just to see who is still elgible to suit up for the Plainsmen. Those names I will name.

Here are a few links of interest:
The "Hockey House" series - Hockey House incident, Naming Names, and Justice served?

I also included links to the Shenendehowa Web-site regarding their rules and regulations including: Shen's school code of conduct and Shen's athletic code of conduct.

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