The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 31, 2013

T-Wolves put Florida scrape behind them

NORMAN — The Timberwolves ended the week the way they began it — winning.

Eighth-ranked Norman North defeated Choctaw 14-6 on Friday, closing the door on one the most arduous weeks in program history.

The trouble began on Mach 21 at a tournament in Pensacola, Fla. Norman North was beating Arlington Country Day 3-1 when Arlington pitcher Jonathan Rodriguez struck North’s DJ Gasso after a play at the plate. Rodriguez was immediately ejected from the game, but the problems didn’t stop there.

Arlington catcher Brian Nacarreto then walked up behind Gasso and punched him from behind. That set off a bench-clearing brawl that ended the game. North was originally declared the winner of the third-place contest, but that decision was later amended to a double-forfeit.

The situation escalated after the game ended. In addition to several accounts of heckling by fans on both sides in the parking lot that led to several police complaints — later dropped — Arlington coach Ron Dickerson claimed hours after the game ended that North’s players were hurling racial epithets at his players. Many of the players on Arlington’s baseball team are Dominican, and a number are already signed to play Division 1 baseball in college.

Arlington Country Day, located in Jacksonville, Fla., is known for turning out high-quality athletes. The school withdrew from the Florida High School Athletic Association in 2010 after numerous run-ins with the FHSAA for breaking league rules, including an incident that cost the school $33,000 in 2002 after numerous recruiting violations came to light. The school now participates in the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association.

Dickerson said he approached game officials in the fourth inning to complain about the language, and the official then approached the North bench. North coach Brian Aylor said the only thing that was mentioned in that conversation was a request to stop pointing to the Arlington side, something he said the T-Wolves were doing in response to obscene gestures coming from the Arlington dugout.

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