- Last Updated on Thursday, 29 January 2009 02:24
- Published on Thursday, 29 January 2009 02:24
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Just after the School Board adjourned its work session on January 14th Athletic Director Jeremy Jack of Colonial Beach approached Chairman Tim Trivett to discuss an incident concerning the game between the Colonial Beach girls’ basketball team and the Caroline County girls' basketball team.
At the January 14th basketball game Coach Dickerson removed the girls' basketball team from the court and took them to the locker room for their protection, according to witnesses. The incident that led to this decision is not the first incidence of violence that the team has encountered while playing Caroline County, according to Coach Audra Lewcus, JV Coach for Colonial Beach.
“You don’t see the things our girls put up with when we go away. You thought this was bad? You should have been with us when we played at Caroline. They pushed, they shoved, they cursed us, you know what, our girls came out composed and they played the game the way they were taught to play. We teach them to play with dignity.”
During the game in question witnesses say that a player from Caroline County repeatedly attacked one of the Colonial Beach players, Danielle Galloway. It was reported that the referees did not make any calls or attempt to stop the fight and that Galloway put her arms up and walked away to avoid getting in trouble.
Coach Dickerson’s decision to remove the team from the court prompted the decision by the School Board to suspend him. According to Athletic Director Jeremy Jack, he made the call informing Dickerson of his suspension but he did not make the decision himself.
Many people consisting of students, staff and citizens appealed to the board during last week's Regular School Board meeting describing Coach Dickerson as a caring coach who not only cares about his students' abilities on the court but cares about their future and the direction they are heading in life.
Mr. Galloway, Danielle's father said, “There was a fight, the referees let the game get out of control right away. The girls [from Caroline County] were pulling on our girls shirts, the referees didn’t call it, it was brought to the referees' attention several times in that first minute or so and one referee even told the girl [who brought it to his attention] “Well that’s not my call that’s the other guys call.”
Galloway said he was there and he felt the coach made the right decision. He said, “Coach Dickerson has been a wonderful coach to all the youngsters, I hate to see him suspended for something he did out of care for these players. He was genuinely concerned about their well being; he wanted to protect our girls so he sent them in the locker room.”
Coach Audra Lewcus asked the board, “When it comes to telling someone they are insubordinate when they are looking out for the safety of our children; when is it that the safety of our children doesn’t come first?” Lewcus explained that Dickerson was the only father figure some of these girls have.
She said, “When you make a decision like that, [to suspend a coach] it doesn’t just hurt one person it hurts everybody, it hurts the girls, it hurts the school, it hurts the community and it hurts me, because I love this school.”
After a closed session lasting two hours for this and other matters, the Board announced Coach Dickerson’s Re-instatement.