Rebul’s decision to cancel PCA game reeks of poor sportsmanship

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 22, 2005

[9/22/05]

Porters Chapel Academy has a stigma attached to its football program: It is so good that teams will do anything and everything not to play them.

The Eagles, an Academy-A team, have a 3-0 record and allowed only a field goal to Tensas last week. The Chiefs were supposed to provide the Eagles with their toughest test of the season, but it turned into a runaway.

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When Zach Jones booted a fourth-quarter field goal on Friday night, it kept PCA from likely running the table without allowing a point.

A favorable schedule and a weak District-4A put PCA in prime position to goose egg its opponents for an entire season.

How many games PCA will play this season is still in the air.

Two weeks ago, Union Academy canceled its non-conference game against PCA. Hurricane Katrina caused power outages in Georgetown – home of Union – and their officials said the team could not play.

PCA coach Randy Wright offered to play that game at PCA, travel to a neutral site, whatever; Union said no.

The uncertainty with power and water in the Georgetown area led to the cancellation.

Union played last week and lost to Tri-County 49-0, a team Tensas beat handily. A Union-Porters Chapel game would have been a massacre.

And so would this Friday night’s game between Rebul and PCA. As bad as Union is, it beat Rebul by 26 points.

Unfortunately, the game will go down as a 2-0 PCA win after Rebul administrators canceled the game because several of the players on the already-slim roster were hurt last week, meaning the team could not physically field a team.

The crystal ball medical staff at Rebul, though, could see far enough ahead to know that the players hurt a week ago would be better for a game with Veritas, a team much weaker than PCA. The two schools exchanged films on Tuesday in preparation for the Sept. 30 game.

Veritas coach Jeff Thigpen said Wednesday that as far as he knew, the game would be played.

“That is a concern of ours and we are investigating that,” Mississippi Private Schools Association executive director Les Triplett said. “That’s all I can say on that right now.”

PCA would have beaten Rebul by as many points as it wanted, too. If Wright wanted to hang 100 points on the Raiders, it would have been possible.

But, no. Rebul backed out of a debilitating loss to prepare for a team suited more for its competition level.

The lack of players has given Rebul a ready-made excuse to avoid an on-field thumping.

The spirit of competition has yet to find Rebul or Union; excuses have.

Competition has been replaced by, “Well, we’re going to lose really badly, so let’s not play at all.”

They’re cheating the players. They’re cheating the MPSA. And worst of all, they are cheating a Porters Chapel team that has a chance to do some wonderful things this year.

How much would you pay for a butt-kicking?

Rebul paid a $1,250 fine.

That comes out to $625 per hour, $312.50 per quarter, or $12.50 per point.