CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's not uncommon to see Charlotte Catholic High School on the winning side of sporting events. The school's principal says Catholic is successful because kids within the Catholic system become fans early, and quickly desire to play and be a part of the Catholic tradition.
The middle school mirrors our athletic programs, so these kids that start out in the middle school, they want to come and play here and be a part of the Catholic tradition, said Charlotte Catholic High School Principal Jerry Healy.
Healy emailed parents Tuesday telling them Charlotte Catholic was notified last Friday of a proposal to amend the bylaws of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) that would eliminate all North Carolina non-boarding parochial high schools from membership.
The schools asking for the rule change have told the Charlotte Observer they believe parochial schools have an unfair advantage because they can draw students from anywhere.
Amy Hardin and Deana Stanford were at Tuesday night's women's varsity soccer game. Their daughters play for West Mecklenburg High School.
Yes, it's tough not to ever win, they admitted. But the women both said they believe Charlotte Catholic plays fairly and follows the rules.
We drive from West Meck knowing we're going to lose, but it's a clean game, absolutely. They're a good team and they're well coached and they play clean, said Hardin.
This week her school and 389 other NCHSAA schools will vote on whether to remove Charlotte Catholic and several other parochial schools from state play.
The great majority have been here for a long time and there's no recruiting going on. We have kids who transfer in and have to sit out a year, said Jeff Haney, who has a daughter who plays on the women's varsity soccer team. It's unfortunate that we've done everything right for a number of years to fit in with the public schools. We've been good members and followed by the rules of making the kids sit a year when they transfer in and yet that still doesn't make some people happy that we're still here.
Joe Pinyan, Salisbury High School's athletic director, told the Charlotte Observer, To me, it is a question of boundaries. Our students come from a specific area. Theirs do not. Their players can come from anywhere, he said.
Healy said nearly 80 percent of Charlotte Catholic athletes begin in the Catholic school system in elementary or middle school, and grow up yearning to be a part of the Catholic tradition. We don't recruit, we can't recruit. If we got caught even giving scholarships we'd be put out of the association, he said.
Stanford admits she has wondered how one school can have so many good teams. They can get students from anywhere, she said.
But both Stanford and Hardin admit they believe the school plays fairly and they say their children enjoy the competition.
They know coming down here they're probably not going to win, because they know (CCHS) they're a better team. But at half time, they're not down because it's a nice team, the mothers said.
All voting on the proposal is due next week. A three-fourths majority is needed for the measure to pass.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be voting on the proposal. A spokeswoman for the system said she believes each school will cast its own vote on the amendment.