Board looks to end recruiting on township fields

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UPPER TOWNSHIP – The township’s sports and recreation advisory board is looking to create a new policy for sports teams here that would prevent coaches from recruiting Upper Township players during games or practices on township fields.


The advisory board oversees the township’s recreation and sports programs. At a recent meeting, Dr. Christine Lentz, athletic director and assistant principal at the Ocean City High School and a former Upper Township school board member, said a local parochial high school had been trying to recruit Upper Township football players.

The recruiting occurred on Upper Township fields during games or practices, she said.

Committeeman Ed Barr, who sits on the advisory board, said athlete recruiting was something that should occur off the field. The conversation should be between students, parents and coaches, he said.

“That’s a family issue,” he said. “Lots of things go into a decision like that. A student athlete shouldn’t be making that decision, or be asked to make that decision without his parents or someone else there to advise him.”

Barr said the township wants to maintain its recreation programs and keep them strong, not see players pulled away to other programs. The advisory board also wants to continue to support the send/receive relationship between Upper Township and Ocean City High School, he said.

“Our relationship with OCHS is important,” Barr said. “A lot of our kids go there and play on the high school team. If other schools are coming in and picking our best athletes away, that could be a problem.”

Upper Township schools send a majority of the students to Ocean City High School.

Barr said the advisory board would seek changes to team bylaws to prevent recruiting on township fields during games or practices.

The advisory board has also agreed to discuss the matter with team coaches to make clear recruiting will not be tolerated.


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