Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Longtime Rivalry Rears Ugly Head Again

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Longtime Rivalry Rears Ugly Head Again

Article excerpt

The last straw was when the bricks broke the bus windows.

The University City boys basketball team bus had just pulled out of Normandys parking lot and was making its way down St. Charles Rock Road. The passengers were cheerful, having taken a 53-51 win against their rival on Dec. 12.

Then bricks came through the windows.

It was that moment that put an end to the sports rivalry between U. City and Normandy. In the days that followed, U. City superintendent Joylynn Pruitt ordered administrators to drop Normandy from the schedule completely. No football, no basketball, no nothing.

This week, that policy could be tested, since the two schools are part of the Class 4 District 6 basketball tournament at Clayton. Normandy is the No. 1 seed, U. City the 5 seed. If U. City beats 4 seed MICDS in the first round Monday a big if then the Lions would see Normandy once more. Only this time the conditions will be much different.

At the request of U. City, the Missouri State High School Activities Association has mandated that a potential district semifinal between the schools would be played at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Clayton before a limited number of spectators. According to Clayton athletics director Bob Bone, the players, coaches, officials, game staff and media will be allowed at the game. The players will be allowed to select two family members to attend.

Everyone else is barred.

Never before has MSHSAA banned spectators from a postseason athletics event.

That U. City and Normandy cant take the court for a primetime game during districts for fear of violence is incredibly disappointing. The players should have an opportunity to play for their season in front of a packed gym, under the bright lights and without special circumstances. But the escalation of violence between the student-athletes and spectators has forced a decision. …

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