The DeMatha Catholic High School football team is trying to carry on despite a prostitution scandal that forced five players off the team and out of school.
It happened on a road trip to North Carolina last week.
The remaining players on the team made another road trip Friday to begin the process of rebuilding their good name. That journey began at a fitting game, the Patriot Classic, in Annapolis.
None of the players who took the field for the game in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium were involved in the prostitution scandal.
The five players who allegedly called three prostitutes to their room after this game in Durham, North Carolina last week have either been expelled or transferred out.
So far, the school is standing behind the 18 trip chaperones and DeMatha Head Coach Elijah Brooks.
"I graduated with Elijah. He's my best friend. I know what kind of character he has," says DeMatha Assistant Basketball Coach Corey McCrae. "He did his best to protect the kids and the program, but sometimes things are just out of your control."
School Principal Dr. Daniel McMahon says the Archdiocese of Maryland, North Carolina and Washington have all been notified and will take disciplinary action.
"The school community is saddened and hurt by the actions of these few who do not reflect the character of the community," Dr. McMahon says.
Reaction among relatives and parents of DeMatha students is mixed.
"I was a bit surprised," say parent Denis Tyson. "I was really taken back a little bit, this being a Catholic school."
"They're boys, they're football players. They've got testosterone going on. I'm not saying it's right, but to throw them out of school, that isn't cool man," Rawle Phillips says.
For now, the rest of the team is carrying on under the spotlight. This time, for all the wrong reasons.
Principal's Press Release
Posted September 7, 2012
Good morning. My name is Dr. Daniel McMahon, I'm a graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School, I've been the principal for the past 13 years and I've been a faculty member for 29 years.
The past weekend the school's football team traveled to North Carolina for a game. We sent 18 chaperones and 65 players. Prior to the trip a meeting was held with all parents and students to outline procedures and expectations. Expectations for behavior were reinforced throughout the trip. As on all field trips, we conducted room checks and monitored hallways. The last bed checks were at 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning and the hallways were monitored until after 4:30 a.m.
The incident referred to in the newspaper occurred after 5 a.m. on Saturday morning. The school first learned of it on Tuesday afternoon and began an investigation. 5 students and their families were notified that they would face disciplinary procedures. All proper authorities in the Archdiocese of Washington, the state of Maryland and the state of North Carolina were notified.
The school stands behind our coach, Elijah Brooks, his staff, the school staff who monitored the trip, and our students. The school community is saddened and hurt by the actions of these few who do not reflect the character of the community.
We come from a faith tradition that emphasizes that we tell the truth and support one another. I cannot, either legally or morally, speak to any disciplinary matters.