Cony and Mt. Ararat high school administrators are investigating a reported racial incident that took place during a Sept. 28 boys varsity soccer game in Topsham.

“I’m aware of an issue that came up,” Mt. Ararat athletic director Geoff Godo said. “The administration at Cony made us aware of it. We take these types of situations very seriously. We are investigating accordingly.”

The incident reportedly involved a racial slur directed at one or more players at Cony, whose boys varsity soccer team features a number of players from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Haitian, Iraqi and Czech families.

Brad Smith, superintendent of Topsham-based School Administrative District 75, said Wednesday that the investigation is nearing completion.

“We are still waiting to hear from one or two more students before deciding on what disciplinary action should be taken,” he said. “From our end, we are trying to determine what happened. We are trying to sort everything out.

“I do know that any form of discrimination is unacceptable. We take this very, very seriously. When people make decisions to make discriminatory comments to others, it’s completely unacceptable. This is a lesson we don’t want our high school students to learn — that they can treat people differently based on ethnicity or religious beliefs or their sexual orientation. It’s very disappointing.”


The reported incident comes at a time when racial tensions are heightened nationwide. Several players in the National Football League have also protested racial injustice in the country by kneeling during the national anthem.

Godo would not say how many students in his school were involved in the incident, but acknowledged that a Mt. Ararat soccer player and at least one spectator were being investigated.

“We don’t condone these types of comments,” he said. “We don’t tolerate them. We will investigate them. We are working to find a resolution, because this is not the kind of thing anyone wants associated with their community or school. It’s unfortunate.”

According to the Maine Association of Soccer Officials, no players were issued red cards in that Sept. 28 game — which Mt. Ararat won 1-0 — for unsporting behavior. Red cards can be issued for insulting or abusive language and trigger an automatic ejection from the game. Two yellow cards were issued for reckless challenges.

The coaches and athletic directors “have communicated about the game and the Mt. Ararat school department is dealing with the situation,” Cony athletic director Paul Vachon said.

Cony soccer coach Jon Millett declined comment and Vachon would not say what prompted Cony to report the incident to Mt. Ararat. Several phone calls to parents of Cony soccer players were also not returned.


Karen McCormick, whose son, Simon, is black and plays on the team, said in a Facebook message that she wasn’t comfortable discussing the situation, but remained confident the schools were handling it.

“From what I know the coaches, (athletic directors) and principals are dealing with the issues,” Karen McCormick wrote in response to a Facebook message seeking comment on the incident. “I trust it will be taken care of.”

In a Sept. 28 Facebook post to the Cony boys soccer page, Millett praised his team with how it handled the game.

“I’m proud of our guys tonight of the way they played through a multitude of adversity,” Millett wrote at 9:48 p.m. on Sept. 28. “Like life, there were many things like fans and refs we couldn’t control and despite this the boys persevered as a team to the end.”

Smith, the schools’ superintendent, said there are ultimately lessons to be learned.

“This is serious and it will be dealt with,” he said. “Discrimination of any kind is flat-out off limits.”

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