Championship game facing cancellation


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ST. THOMAS - Saturday's IAA tackle football territorial championship game between Charlotte Amalie High School and St. Croix Educational Complex is close to being canceled.

An official decision had not been made as of Tuesday evening, but CAHS failed to provide the school district with player permission forms and a travel request form in a timely manner for the game on St. Croix.

CAHS Athletic Director Myron Corbett said players received forms on Nov. 19, but they were not turned in until Monday evening. The players' forms and the travel request form typically need to be turned in for processing two weeks in advance of the trip, according to Corbett.

The Chickenhawks clinched a spot in the championship with their 56-32 win over the St. Thomas-St. John Private Schools Arawaks on Nov. 16.

IAA St. Thomas-St. John District President Mark Daniel prefers the league's schedule be followed but doubted the likelihood of the game being played. Daniel said that travel requests have to be signed by the school's principal, the district superintendent and an IAA district commissioner.

Corbett is not pushing for an expedited processing of the forms. He, CAHS coach Francisco Jarvis and many players do not think they should be playing the fourth-place Barracudas, who earned the St. Croix District's automatic berth in the championship. CAHS principal Carmen Howell said she supports whatever the athletic department decides to do about the game.

"I just don't see the sense of playing this game, to tell you the truth," Corbett said. "Complex is obviously the fourth best team in the territory. Complex hasn't scored a point against any of the St. Thomas teams this season, so why in God's name are we gonna be playing Complex for a championship game? I just see it as a waste of government money. This game, it's worthless, it's useless and we should not play it."

Jarvis said he received permission slips in a timely fashion for this season's previous trips to St. Croix and Puerto Rico. The six-time reigning champions played a non-league game in Puerto Rico on Saturday.

"I was given them on the 19th, but truthfully, I've been so busy with this Puerto Rico trip, so maybe that slipped through there," Jarvis said, "It could be my fault too. I just got them to him yesterday."

CAHS (6-1) beat Complex, 48-0, in October. The game was called with 2:44 remaining in the first half because of the IAA's 40-point mercy rule. Complex (2-2) did score against Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, but fell, 36-6, to the Devil Rays.

The Barracudas beat St. Croix Central High, 13-0 and 36-8. The Caribs (0-5) scored just two touchdowns and were outscored 181-14 this season. The IAA format puts the teams with the best record in each division in the championship. The Arawaks (3-2) finished with the territory's second-best record.

Complex coach Danley McIntosh was unaware of the game's status until being notified by the Daily News on Tuesday evening.

"I'm disappointed," McIntosh said. "That's two games that won't be played and the kids will be very disappointed because they've been working very hard. It's going to be difficult to explain for the second week in a row."

Outstanding hotel bills prevented Complex from traveling to St. Thomas for last week's game against the Arawaks.

Jarvis, whose team was largely unchallenged until losing in Puerto Rico, shares Corbett's stance on the game.

"There has been this sentiment for some time about the fact that there's nothing really going on with St. Croix football that would make us want to feel excited about playing a territorial championship," Jarvis said. "Why play a territorial championship that could very realistically, possibly finish at half?"

McIntosh expected to play the Chickenhawks again once his team beat Central for a second time and earned its spot in the final game.

"They have the right to their opinion," McIntosh said. "The only way to change that is to play the game."

- Contact Tim Chapman at 714-9102 or tchapman@dailynews.vi.

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