High schools

Martha’s Vineyard will not appeal MIAA sanctions from soccer case

Officials at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School chose Thursday to accept the sanctions imposed on its boys’ soccer program as a consequence of two players repeatedly shoving a referee after a stinging loss in the MIAA tournament.

The disciplinary measures, issued Wednesday by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, include the suspension of head coach John Walsh for the first two games of the 2020 season and a requirement that all of the team’s coaches and players complete sportsmanship education programs. 

The two players, both juniors, received automatic one-year suspensions from all interscholastic activities, effectively ending their high school sports careers. They have played only soccer.

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School officials had the right to appeal any other punishment levied by the MIAA over the Nov. 5 incident.

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“We are not appealing and will work diligently to comply with the MIAA,’’ athletic director Mark McCarthy said. “We will use this to increase awareness around sportsmanship within all of our programs and the MVRHS community.’’

The school’s principal, Sara Dingeldy, said Wednesday that the sanctions “seemed fair and appropriate given the circumstances.’’