UPDATE (Nov. 5, 5 p.m.)—The Perry Hall Gators beat James Hubert Blake High School 2-1 on Saturday. Perry Hall will now advance to the Class 4A North region final against Westminster on Tuesday.
Find live game coverage and commentary in the article, Live: Perry Hall Beats Blake in Post-Bernie Playoff Game.
UPDATE (Nov. 4, 6:06 p.m.)—Perry Hall High School Principal George Roberts announced Friday that the decision to end the boys varsity soccer season early had been reversed, as first reported by Patch.
The Class 4A North region semifinal game between Perry Hall and Blake High School will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday at Blake in Montgomery County.
"The intent of my original decision was not to punish the students, but to preserve the dignity and character of an educational-based athletic program. Perry Hall High School does not now and will not in the future condone acts of unsportsmanlike behavior," Roberts said during a news conference at 11:45 a.m.
Roberts added that further disciplinary action will be taken against the players who performed the Bernie dance after beating rival Dulaney High School on Tuesday, a celebratory act that the principal believed was inappropriate.
Soccer players and coach Pete Eibner will participate in an online course about appropriate sportsmanship, he said.
The season cancellation, announced on Wednesday afternoon, was met by a student protest, an uproar from parents and community members and a media frenzy. Still, Roberts claimed the reversal of his original decision was influenced only by a more thorough investigation of players' actions after the Dulaney game.
"More information continued to come in from the various communities and various stakeholders and because of that, the decision was re-analyzed," he said.
Several players attended the news conference and met the announcement with applause.
"I really don't have words. I didn't think this was going to happen and we were going to play tomorrow," said senior Chad Bukowski.
Junior Nate Liberto said he also wasn't expecting to get to play on Saturday. "We're going to work harder than we ever have today to get ready for tomorrow. I thought Mr. Roberts was just going to stay with his decision," Liberto said.
"It's definitely a really good reaction. We're all extremely happy and overwhelmed," said senior Ryan Carter.
Watch players and students dance the Bernie after the news conference, in the article, Soccer Players, Students Dance the 'Bernie' Outside School.
Check Patch for video and updates.
UPDATE (Nov. 4, 11:04 a.m.)—The Perry Hall boys soccer team may play again.
According to a state athletics source speaking on the condition of anonymity, the Class 4A North region semifinal game between Perry Hall and Blake High School will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday at Blake in Montgomery County.
Perry Hall Principal George Roberts scheduled a press conference for 11:45 Friday morning at Perry Hall High School to announce a “final decision” on the situation that initially resulted in the Gators boys soccer team being disqualified from the playoffs for a dance following Tuesday’s win against Dulaney, as first reported by Patch. The school did not confirm that a previous decision to cancel the remainder of the soccer season was being changed.
No. 10 Perry Hall would visit No. 3 Blake in the Class 4A North region semifinal if the decision is overturned. The game was originally scheduled for tonight before Roberts announced the team would be disqualified.
Students protested at the school Friday, and another protest was scheduled for Friday afternoon.
Stay with Patch for updates.