Recruiting Scheme Or Just
Another High School Game
By Raymond Rolak
ANN ARBOR—- The real eye-opener was that the two out-of-state high school teams played their Friday evening game at the University of Michigan Stadium. The teams travelled by bus and were scheduled to watch the University of Michigan and Hawaii game Saturday. This was the first game ever at Michigan Stadium between two out-state high schools.
Paramus Catholic (N.J.) defeated Baltimore (Maryland) St. Francis Academy, 38-20. The game was televised on ESPNU. (Photo: Paramus Catholic scores at Michigan stadium)
Michigan’s football team is heavily recruiting two Paramus Catholic players, linebacker Drew Singleton and defensive lineman Corey Bolds. Singleton was all over the field recording 11 tackles. Paramus Catholic quarterback Andrew Brito threw two second half touchdowns to cement the win. He also ran for three scores.
St. Francis Academy led at halftime, 14-13. Paramus Catholic made a slow comeback and ate up the second-half clock. For the winners Alijah Jackson and Jon Clark each rushed for over 100-yards.
On the sidelines Bolds said that it was great having the Michigan (from N.J.) players come down and talk to us after the game.
About playing at Michigan Stadium Singleton said, “It was everything. It was like heaven. The lights, the seats, everything, the colors. Can’t do anything but love it.” Regarding the bus ride from New Jersey he said, “I love these guys (teammates). We’ll cheer on Michigan tomorrow like they cheered on us.”
It was a home game for Paramus and it was reported they rented the stadium for $3,300 and charged $5 for tickets. The crowd was sparse.
Everything about this game was wrong. Especially the comments by Paramus Catholic High School president James Vail said to justify the 10 hour bus ride each way. When talking about his relationship with the University of Michigan football program Vail said, “There’s all these very interesting conspiracy theories.” He further said, “I’ve had the honor to get to know Coach Harbaugh. I have great, great respect for him. We don’t talk about football…..I’m not really a football guy. I’m just an old religion teacher.”
University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was seen watching from the sidelines, and former Paramus Catholic and current Michigan players Jabrill Peppers and Rashan Gary were seen the bench.
THIS WAS A RECRUITING TRIP. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck…..it is a duck.
In June, Harbaugh was commencement speaker at the school’s graduation ceremony. This was after U-M hosted one of their satellite camps at Paramus Catholic within the same month. Chris Partridge, U of M’s linebacker/special teams assistant was Paramus Catholics’ previous head coach.
Vail met Michael Jordan during his visit to Michigan. Is he so enamored with celebrities that he destroys the credibility of his high school. Aren’t there quality opponents in New Jersey? Secondary schools are not minor league franchises. Is it really good to nationally televise high school contests.
This is not a healthy or fitting relationship. Vail (high school principal), Stephanie Macaluso, associate principal, Steve Kanoc, Paramus Catholics’ new head football coach and Scott Langan, director of athletics, should reexamine their actions. They also need immediate supervising and an intervention from the Archdiocese of Newark and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Sportsmen agree to rules and abide by them. The spirit of the rules should be enough and coaches should honor them. The buck stops with the principal (president). This is a problem when the principal-president is blind to rules and ethics.