A message was sent to the Northwest High School and Gaithersburg High School communities by MCPS systemwide athletics director Jeff Sullivan, Gaithersburg principal Cary Dimmick, and Northwest principal Scott Smith providing an update regarding the initial actions taken resulting from the incident that occurred during the Northwest at Gaithersburg varsity football game on Friday, September 16. The full message can be seen below:
“Dear Northwest and Gaithersburg Communities,
We are writing to provide you with an update regarding the initial actions taken resulting from the incident that occurred during the Northwest at Gaithersburg varsity football game on September 16, 2022. To begin, a comprehensive investigation is underway regarding this incident. The initial stages of this investigation have determined that actions by student-athletes and staff from both schools played a role in the escalation of events that transpired during the game. The actions demonstrated are in direct conflict with the R.A.I.S.E. core values of MCPS Athletics.
As a result of this incident, the following actions and penalties have been imposed:
● The Gaithersburg vs. Northwest varsity football game on September 16, 2022, has been declared a double forfeit, meaning a loss will be awarded to both schools. This action, supported by the principals of both schools and the MCPS department of systemwide athletics, has been shared with the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA).
● The result of the altercation and game officials report noted that all student-athletes were disqualified from the game for violating National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) rules regarding fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct, and/or leaving the team box during a fight. Additionally, MCPS athletic regulations state that coaches and players ejected from a contest are suspended from participation in the next contest. As a result, both teams will be forfeiting their next games, scheduled for September 23, 2022, since all players have been suspended from participation in their next contest. Northwest will forfeit their varsity football game vs Richard Montgomery. Gaithersburg will forfeit their varsity football game vs B-CC. Forfeits will be communicated to the opposing schools and the MPSSAA.
● Due to the ongoing investigation and temporary suspension of football activities, junior varsity games will not be played this week and may be rescheduled to dates later in the season, with the approval of both schools.
Further actions may be taken, as a result of the ongoing investigation. In addition to the investigation, both schools will utilize this week to engage in restorative practices, with the support of the MCPS Office of School Support and Well-Being. Unfortunately, the forfeitures of these games impact many students, staff, and community members beyond the football teams, and MCPS staff and resources are available to provide support of all stakeholders, including other athletic teams and student organizations. We appreciate your continued commitment and support of our students, athletic program, and school community, as we collectively strive to learn, heal, and move forward from this incident.
Cary Dimmick (Gaithersburg Principal), Scott Smith (Northwest Principal), Jeffrey Sullivan, Ed.D. (Director, Systemwide Athletics)”