Asbury Park HS football team plays first game following eligibility issues
The Asbury Park High School football team was back on the field Friday for the first time this season. The Blue Bishops’ season opener was canceled last week because too many players were deemed ineligible.
Last week's game was canceled due to eligibility issues, which could be anything from students’ grades, their home address or their age. Some of those issues were cleared up for Friday’s game, allowing the school to field a team as they face Keyport/Hudson Regional.
Asbury Park School Superintendent Rashawn Adams says that after taking a closer look at the students and updating their credits, it turned out that more players were qualified to play.
“I think the administration, they did the right thing. They did what they had to do. They didn’t want to put the kids in a rough spot,” says Asbury Park resident Corey Cagle. “You have people with their careers on the line. They couldn’t send kids out there that way.”
“I know academics come first, OK. But I think it’s something that the coaching staff in the school can learn,” says Asbury Park Council member Jesse Kendel.
Some say those eligibility concerns could have been addressed sooner. But 18 Asbury Park players took the field Friday for the game. The team started the season with 25 players on the roster.
Former team coach Carmine Magnotta says that the team still has a fighting chance.
"When we won the state championship in ’84, we only had 17 or 18 kids. But they played like men,” he says.
Asbury Park started off the game with the first two touchdowns. then several turnovers turned the game in Keyport’s favor. Asbury Park had a chance to tie the game in the last minute, but in the end, Keyport beat Asbury Park 30-22.