The Asbury Park High School football team returned to the field on Friday for the first time this season. The Blue Bishops’ season opener was canceled last week after too many players were deemed ineligible.
Last week’s game was canceled due to eligibility issues such as student grades, home address, or age. Schools can now form teams.
Rashawn Adams, principal of Asbury Park School, said he found more players eligible to play after taking a closer look at students and updating credits.
“I think the administration did the right thing. They did what they had to do. “There are people whose careers are at stake. They couldn’t send their kids there like that.”
“I know academics come first, OK. But I think that’s something the school’s coaching staff can learn,” says Asbury Parks Council member Jesse Kendell.
Some say these entitlement concerns could have been addressed sooner. However, 18 Asbury Park players entered the game on Friday. The team started the season with 25 players on its roster.
Former team coach Carmine Magnotta says the team still has a fighting chance.
“When we won the state championship in 1984, there were only 17 or 18 kids, but they played like men,” he says.
Asbury Park opened the game with the first two touchdowns. A few turnovers then put the game in favor of Keyport. Asbury Park had a chance to equalize at the last minute, but in the end Keyport defeated Asbury Park he 30-22.