When fall practices began in early August, we at BerksIC.com had just launched our site. We were looking to attend any and all practices we could, in order to observe, and get to know coaching staffs, players, etc.
We attended our first scrimmage on August 17th at Albright, which featured Reading and Berks Catholic. One thing we were looking forward to was to see what kind of impact recent junior transfers Pop Lacey (from Daniel Boone) and Dalton Hoagland (from Hamburg) would have on the Saints team. While Pop saw a decent amount of time in the Saints backfield, as well as their secondary, Dalton was nowhere to be found on the field.
After speaking with players and parents, we were informed that Dalton Hoagland had been ruled ineligible to play for the Saints by District 3 after the Hamburg athletic department refused to sign his transfer waiver.
While we tried to remain neutral, it became tougher by the day. We at BerksIC.com have posed the question of Dalton’s eligibility to several players, coaches, and parents around Berks County, with everyone in agreement that Dalton should be allowed to play.
Hamburg’s football program has been at the center of the news quite a bit lately, following a fight that involved star senior quarterback Joey Cominsky. In light of the Cominsky situation, Karen Hoagland, Dalton’s mother, turned over a video to NBC Philadelphia that depicts the quarterback throwing passes at a player who is up against a wall. Hamburg head coach Joe Sinkovich can be seen in the video, and some may even argue that he was encouraging the actions.
We have spoken to Karen Hoagland, who informed us that the school’s principal signed off on Daulton’s transfer papers, however, athletic director Aaron Menapace refused to do so.
Karen Hoagland will present her case for Dalton’s eligibility this evening (September 23rd) at a school board meeting at Hamburg. We promise to keep our readers updated on the details of the meeting as the information becomes available to us.
Justin Allen, Freelance Contributing Writer
When I was 16 years old, I transferred from a public school (Pottsgrove) to a Catholic school (St.Pius X) before the start of my junior year. This is the exact same move that Dalton Hoagland attempted to make. In fact, Dalton did make this move. He is currently enrolled at Berks Catholic and attending classes there.
I had played sports at a public school prior to my transfer, maybe not quite at the same level as Dalton, who is among the best linemen in Berks County, but I played them nonetheless. There were never any real questions asked about why I wanted to leave public school to attend Catholic school. There were also no real questions asked about whether or not I intended to play sports at my new school upon my arrival. I was treated as a student-athlete, but more as a student. I think that we tend to lose sight of the fact that student comes before athlete.
In fact, many, like me, play sports at the high school level in hopes of earning a scholarship. I dreamed of having the opportunity to play sports at a higher level, while earning a degree. As a kid, I dreamed of playing basketball at UCLA. However, by my senior year of high school, the Bruins had run out of scholarships to offer to 5’11” power forwards who played CYO. Ultimately, I settled on Division III soccer. What I am trying to imply, is that Dalton is looking to play football at a higher level. Dalton is a great football player and has a chance to not only compete at the next level, but also earn a higher education. As long as he is enrolled in school and is eligible in the classroom, he should be allowed to participate in football for Berks Catholic.
I mean, what gives any coach or administrator the right to deny a young man a higher education? What do they gain out of not allowing Dalton to play football? Is it for personal gain? Were they hoping that by keeping him ineligible he would return to Hamburg? It’s a little too late for that now, as the bridge has been burned on both sides.
What makes Dalton Hoagland’s situation any different from that of leading rusher Montay Berger? Berger moved out of state this summer, instead of returning to Hamburg for his senior season. It certainly seems that the loss of their top running back would hurt them more than an offensive lineman, no? From what I have heard, there was not anyone preventing Montay from moving, so why Dalton?
Until I hear any logical explanation, I am going to assume that the whole ineligibility ruling is an act of pure bitterness and resentment towards a student, who no longer wanted to play at Hamburg.
Keep your head up Dalton! You certainly have my support.
Unless a student is bound by actual district lines, there is never an excuse for a school district to prevent a student from transferring. Dalton Hoagland’s decision to attend Berks Catholic should have no controversy to it. Dalton is simply a student athlete who has decided to pursue a Catholic education. Why is there any hold up if he has done nothing illegal?
I truly believe that Dalton should be allowed to compete this season for the Saints.