An alumni group is asking the Vatican to look into a slew of incidents they say has tarnished the private Catholic school’s reputation.
The group, led by former basketball player Brian Culhane, has sent a “fat package of allegations and grievances” to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees issues of morality in the Roman Catholic Church, according to an investigative report by the sports gossip website Deadspin.
The allegations surround the varsity basketball team and its head coach, Joe Wootten.
Deadspin reports that Wootten sought the transfer of Congolese basketball player Junior Etou, who was the key figure on the team’s 2013 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. The site found that Etou was very likely 21 years old when he played for O’Connell, two years too old to be eligible for high school play.
Etou, who was living with Malone at the time, produced a passport and visa that said he was born in 1994. While he was living in the Congo, however, he had earlier provided a birth certificate to basketball’s governing body stating he was born in 1992.
The report also alleges a cover-up by school officials after two basketball players allegedly filmed a sex act with a female student at the school. The players transferred before the last school year. Via Deadspin:
The talk was that Wootten’s latest exiles had left under an ugly cloud — that one of the players had shot a video in which a female student performed oral sex on the other player inside the school, then, according to an O’Connell employee, “posted his work on Instagram.” All of those alleged to be involved were juveniles and underclassmen.
Students found to have committed what is described in memos from O’Connell alumni to school and local Catholic officials as “a sexually immoral act” on campus are generally expelled, Culhane says; however, according to the rumors, the two boys were allowed to leave without any formal finding, while the girl alleged to have been involved remained enrolled at O’Connell. Culhane says alums who inquired about the incident were told by school administrators that she faced no punishment because “the [sex] act was not consensual.” Yet no charges were ever filed.
The Arlington County Police Department investigated the video, but spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said no charges were filed and the identity of the subjects could not be revealed because they were minors.
The confluence of events – without a satisfactory response from O’Connell administration of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington – prompted Culhane and his alumni to request Pope Francis step in. If the CDF and the Vatican decide it’s worth pursuing, according to Deadspin, it will compel Bishop Paul Loverde to investigate the school and the program.
O’Connell administration has not responded to a request for comment.
Update at 4:20 p.m. – The Catholic Diocese of Arlington has provided ARLnow.com with the following statement:
The Diocese of Arlington regrets that concerns about the basketball program at Bishop O’Connell remain a source of frustration for some members of the school community.
As stated previously in 2013, Bishop O’Connell received official documentation regarding the age of former student Junior Etou, confirming his eligibility to participate in athletics during the 2012-13 academic year.
With regard to any allegations involving other students, the Diocese of Arlington cannot comment on individual disciplinary matters. As a matter of policy and practice if a school has reason to believe a student’s actions have violated the law, the proper law enforcement agency is contacted.
Photo via Facebook
Board Takes Action on Affordable Housing — The Arlington County Board on Saturday voted on a series of measures to preserve some of the county’s supply of affordable housing. The Board approved a set of financial tools – including a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) area — that will help preserve the affordability of 6,200 market rate affordable homes along Columbia Pike, an estimated $6.7 million Tenant Assistance Fund for tenants of affordable housing that is being renovated or redeveloped, and a $8.3 million loan to keep the 101-unit Arna Valley View Apartments near I-395 affordable. [Washington Post]
Tree Removal Concerns County Board — County Board members said they were “deeply concerned” and “shocked” at reports that Arlington Public Schools allowed the removal of protected trees on the site of the Ashlawn Elementary School expansion project. [Sun Gazette]
Preservation Arlington Touts Colonial Village — The group Preservation Arlington says “it is a prime time to move to Colonial Village,” touting the community — the first Federal Housing Administration-insured large-scale rental housing project in the U.S. — as “an urban oasis: historic and protected in the heart of the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor.” [Preservation Arlington]
DJO Coach Named to Hall of Fame — Bishop O’Connell High School softball coach Tommy Orndorff has been named to the 2014 National Softball Hall of Fame. [Arlington Catholic Herald]
Arlington Athletes Make All-Mets — Yorktown football running back M.J. Stewart, Washington-Lee cross country runner Sarah Angell, and Bishop O’Connell soccer midfielder Lauren Harkes have been named to the 2013 first-team fall All-Met. [Washington Post]
Photo courtesy Chase McAlpine
The Generals (7-2, 6-0) made short work of Wakefield, 56-21, in south Arlington Friday night. Washington-Lee quarterback Sam Appel had perhaps the best game of his career, throwing for 209 yards and five touchdowns. Receiver Trevor McManus was the main beneficiary with eight catches for 102 yards and three of those touchdowns. Running back Daquay Harris kept up his impressive season, and needed just 10 carries to rush for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Wakefield (2-7, 0-6) was led by running back Leon Young, who carried the ball 16 times for 94 yards, including busting free for a 44-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Wakefield’s long season will come to an end this week when they travel to face Mount Vernon on Friday.
Yorktown (8-1, 6-0) was at Mount Vernon Friday and the Patriots pulled out a 31-21 victory to extend their winning streak to seven games. Star running back M.J. Stewart returned from the ankle injury that sidelined him the previous week against Chantilly, rushing 11 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots scored 17 unanswered points in the first half, putting enough distance to hold off Mount Vernon (3-6, 2-4) the rest of the way.
This Friday night at 7:30 at Yorktown will be the regular season finale and a showdown between the Patriots and the Generals. Both teams are 6-0 in the National District, turning the finale into a winner-take-all matchup for the district title.
Bishop O’Connell ended its season on a high note Saturday afternoon, blowing out Bishop McNamara 61-36. The win brought the Knights’ season record to 5-5 and put them in fifth place in the WCAC. Unfortunately for the Knights, four teams make the Catholic league’s playoffs. Marquis Rowe was the star Saturday, scoring on a 98-yard kickoff return, a 36-yard run and two receiving touchdowns. Between quarterbacks Michael Galvan and Jason Ley, the Knights threw just one incomplete pass all game.
Photo via Bishop O’Connell
The two best high school football teams in the National District played their final non-district regular season games Friday night against Fairfax County powers. Yorktown was without star running back M.J. Stewart but still secured a win, while Washington-Lee was manhandled by Centreville.
Stewart, the senior North Carolina recruit leading the Patriots with 1,266 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, was on the sideline Friday night with a sprained ankle, according to the Washington Post. That didn’t stop the Patriots (7-1, 5-0) from coming back from a double-digit second-half deficit and beating Chantilly (5-3, 2-1), 30-28. Stewart’s backup, Da’Jhuan Short, carried the ball for 90 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in the third quarter. The Patriots play this Friday night on the road against Mount Vernon.
Yorktown’s companion atop the National District standings, Washington-Lee, lost its first game since Sept. 12 Friday night, 53-7 against Centreville. Centreville (8-0, 3-0) is the Post’s top-ranked team in Northern Virginia, and it has won all of its games by at least 21 points. The Generals (6-2, 5-0) got their only score in the first quarter on an 89-yard pass play from Sam Appel to Noah Harrington, who caught three balls for 111 yards on the day. The Generals next play on the road at Wakefield Friday night.
Wakefield (2-6, 0-5) continued its late-season swoon Friday night with a 41-7 loss to J.E.B. Stuart (2-6, 1-4). Stuart had previously been winless in the National District, so Friday night’s game looked like a shot for Wakefield to get its first win since its second game of the season. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they couldn’t stop Stuart’s rushing attack, allowing 259 yards on the ground. The Warriors didn’t score at all until a meaningless fourth quarter touchdown. They host the Generals Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
The Bishop O’Connell Knights also couldn’t find their way back in the winner’s column. They took on powerhouse Good Counsel and fell, 35-10. The Knights are now 4-5 and 1-4 in the WCAC. They got their only touchdown of the game on a 52-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by lineman Tylar Thompson. The Knights’ last game of the season is Saturday afternoon at home against Bishop McNamara, which has lost four straight games.
Image via Wakefield Athletics
Washington-Lee (4-1, 2-0 district) won a statement game Friday night against Falls Church (3-2, 0-2), which had been 3-1 with its only loss coming to Yorktown last week. The Generals won 21-14, holding on after leaping out to a 13-0 lead. Duquay Harris, the running back that’s been leading the Generals this season, scored a touchdown, and quarterback Sam Appel threw for two scores. The Generals have won three straight games and seek their fourth consecutive win this Friday at Mount Vernon.
At the same time, Yorktown was riding its star running back, senior North Carolina commit M.J. Stewart, to its third-straight win. Stewart carried the ball 16 times for 230 yards — a ridiculous 14.4 yards per carry — and four touchdowns to lead the Patriots (4-1, 2-0) to a 42-7 victory over J.E.B. Stuart (0-5, 0-2). The Patriots scored all of their points in the first half, and didn’t allow Stewart to score a point until the fourth quarter, when the game had essentially been decided. Yorktown’s next game will be Friday at home against Hayfield.
After starting the season 2-0, Wakefield (2-3, 0-2) dropped its third consecutive game Friday night, 50-13 against Hayfield (1-4, 1-1). The Warriors fell behind 50-0 before scoring a pair of garbage-time touchdowns in the fourth quarter, one by Andrew Tuttle and another by Chris Robertson. Wakefield will try to get back on the winning track this Friday on the road against Falls Church.
Bishop O’Connell (4-3, 1-2), had perhaps the toughest matchup in the entire D.C. area, going on the road to Hyattsville, Md. to take on No. 1-ranked Dematha. The Knights lost to the Stags (6-1, 3-0), 49-14. The teams were tied at the end of the first quarter and O’Connell had a brief 14-7 lead, but DeMatha, in the end, was simply too much for the Knights, scoring 42 unanswered points to clinch the victory. The Knights will try to snap their two-game losing streak this Saturday at Gonzaga.
The football teams of Yorktown and Washington-Lee high schools each pushed their 2013 record to 3-1 with narrow victories last Friday night, while Wakefield lost its second straight game and Bishop O’Connell was defeated Saturday afternoon.
Yorktown (3-1) delivered National District foe Falls Church (3-1) its first loss of the year, a huge victory for potential playoff seeding in November. The Patriots jumped out to a 17-7 halftime lead with two touchdowns from senior running back M.J. Stewart, an held on to win, 17-14, despite allowing Falls Church a fourth quarter touchdown. Yorktown will trying to push its record to 4-1 next Friday night on the road against J.E.B. Stuart.
Washington-Lee (3-1) was in serious peril of dropping its second game of the season to Hayfield (0-4), but scored 23 second-half points to storm back for a 23-21 victory. The Generals got a game-winning, late fourth-quarter touchdown from running back Daquay Harris, who is having a breakout year as a junior. Next week they host Falls Church to try to keep pace with the Patriots.
After starting the season with back-to-back victories, Wakefield (2-2) lost for the second straight week Friday night, 45-14 at home against Edison (2-2). The Warriors allowed 32 unanswered points before finally crossing the plane of the end zone with a running score by junior quarterback Riley Wilson. The Warriors will try to get back on the winning track this Friday at home against Hayfield.
Bishop O’Connell (4-2) also dropped its game this week, 17-7 to St. John’s. The Knights and the Cadets were tied, 7-7 at halftime after Knights quarterback Michael Galvan hit George Hawkins for an 11-yard touchdown pass, but St. John’s pulled ahead in the second half and O’Connell couldn’t come back. The Knights face a major challenge this Saturday, facing DeMatha (5-1), the Washington Post’s top-ranked team in the D.C. area.
Yorktown and Washington-Lee’s football teams won their first National District games Friday night — against Edison and J.E.B. Stuart respectively — while Wakefield dropped its first game of the season.
Yorktown beat up on Edison, 44-18, to get back in the win column a week after losing its first regular-season game in years. Senior star running back M.J. Stewart rushed 22 times for 191 yards and three touchdowns, raising his season total to 621 yards in three games. Quarterback Will Roebuck threw just three incomplete passes and ran in a score of his own. The Patriots got past an unexpected speed bump and put their foot on the gas starting National District play. The Patriots will host 3-0 Falls Church Friday night.
Washington-Lee also bounced back from its first loss of the season with a district win, sneaking by Stuart, 15-10. Running back Daquay Harris ran for 202 yards and a touchdown while the Generals defense smothered the Generals’ running backs. The Generals, like the Patriots, are now 2-1 and 1-0 in the National District, and should go 3-1 next week when they visit 0-3 Hayfield.
Wakefield, after an 0-10 2012 season, suffered its first loss of 2013, losing 22-7 to Thomas Jefferson. The loss drops the Warriors to 2-1 after previous wins against Marshall and George Mason. The Warriors’s defense bended to allow Jefferson’s Nathan Kim to run for 270 yards, the third most in the D.C. area, and two touchdowns. Wakefield’s first home game against a National District team will be Friday night against Edison.
Bishop O’Connell thumped WCAC foe Archbishop Carroll, 42-6, in the Knights’ conference opener Saturday afternoon. The Knights moved to 4-1, putting more distance between themselves and their season-opening loss to McDonogh. Quarterback Michael Galvan threw just one incomplete pass while also leading the Knights in rushing with 37 yards and three touchdowns. The Knights next play Saturday at 2:00 p.m. on the road against St. John’s.
O.C. Donut Store May be Coming to Arlington — The Fractured Prune, an Ocean City institution known for its hot, hand-dipped, homemade donuts, is expanding to the Washington area. The company is looking at Arlington as a possible location for a new store. [Washington Business Journal]
National Merit Semifinalists Announced — Eighteen Arlington Public Schools students have earned the honor of being named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. The semifinalists include 4 students from H-B Woodlawn, 9 students from Washington-Lee, 2 students from Yorktown and 3 students who are attending Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. [Arlington Public Schools]
O’Connell Impresses on the Gridiron — Bishop O’Connell High Schools’s football team is 2-1 after three games, and the Washington Post writes that the team has “turned some heads with their high-octane offense and stout defensive effort.” [Washington Post]
Fall practices for Arlington’s high school football teams began Monday, officially ending the summer for fall sports athletes. In about three weeks (August 29), defending National District champs Yorktown will open play. One month from today — Sept. 6 — will be the opening night of the season for Washington-Lee and Wakefield.
Those who want to get the chance to see one of the best football teams in the country should head to Bishop O’Connell on Oct. 26 to watch the team play Maryland’s Good Counsel. The date many in Arlington will want to circle on their calendars will be Nov. 8, the last game of the regular season, when Washington-Lee takes on Yorktown.
Below are the football schedules for each of the Arlington high schools.
All games at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 6: Home vs. Marshall
Sept. 12: Home vs. George Mason
Sept. 20: Away vs. Thomas Jefferson
Sept. 27: Home vs. Edison
Oct. 4: Home vs. Hayfield Secondary
Oct. 11: Away vs. Falls Church
Oct. 18: Away vs. Yorktown
Oct. 25: Away vs. J.E.B. Stuart
Nov. 1: Home vs. Washington-Lee
Nov. 8: Away vs. Mt. Vernon
All games at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 6: Away vs. McLean
Sept. 12: Home vs. South Lakes
Sept. 20: Home vs. J.E.B. Stuart
Sept. 27: Away vs. Hayfield Secondary
Oct. 4: Home vs. Falls Church
Oct. 11: Away vs. Mt. Vernon
Oct. 18: Home vs. Edison
Oct. 25: Home vs. Centreville
Nov. 1: Away vs. Wakefield
Nov. 8: Away vs. Yorktown
All games at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 29: Home vs. Coolidge
Sept. 6: Away vs. Langley
Sept. 20: Away vs. Edison
Sept. 27: Home vs. Falls Church
Oct. 4: Away vs. J.E.B. Stuart
Oct. 11: Home vs. Hayfield Secondary
Oct. 18: Home vs. Wakefield
Oct. 25: Home vs. Chantilly
Nov. 1: Away vs. Mt. Vernon
Nov. 8: Home vs. Washington-Lee
All games at 2:00 p.m.
Aug. 24: Away vs. McDonogh
Aug. 31: Home vs. Paul VI
Sept. 7: Away vs. Bishop Ireton
Sept. 13: Away vs. St. Christopher’s
Sept. 21: Home vs. Archbishop Carroll
Sept. 28: Away vs. St. John’s
Oct. 5: Away vs. DeMatha (2:30 p.m.)
Oct. 12: Home vs. Gonzaga
Oct. 26: Home vs. Good Counsel
Nov. 2: Home vs. Bishop McNamara
DJO Senior Hurt in Spanish Train Wreck — Christina Cordoba, a rising senior at Bishop O’Connell High School, is in stable condition with a broken leg after surviving a deadly train derailment in Spain. The derailment killed nearly 80 people, including Cordoba’s mother, Ana-Maria Cordoba, who worked for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Cordoba’s father, Philippe, was also injured and is in stable condition. [WTOP, CBS News]
Security Breach at DCA — Nearly two dozen deactivated security badges of former Reagan National Airport employees have not been turned back in, raising serious security concerns. Already, one former employee was arrested for using his deactivated badge to get onto an airplane, according to prosecutors. [NBC Washington]
Virginia Suicides Hit High Mark — Virginia residents are three times more likely to die from suicide than homicide, according to a new report that also found that suicides in the Commonwealth hit a 13-year high in 2011. [Associated Press]
GOP Chief Wants More Community Involvement — The Arlington County Republican Committee is not fielding a candidate for County Board, School Board or House of Delegates this year. Committee chairman Charles Hokanson says the party needs candidates that are deeply involved in the Arlington community if it wants to have a shot at winning a local race. [Sun Gazette]
Photo by Audrey Batcheller
‘Luxury’ Apartment Rent Falling in Arlington — Rents for Class A apartments in Arlington and Alexandria fell 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013, “a clear sign that the supply of new apartments is catching up to demand.” The average Class A rent in Arlington and Alexandria is $1,973 a month. [UrbanTurf]
Kroger Buys Harris Teeter — Ohio-based grocery chain Kroger has purchased Harris Teeter. So far, the company is not planning any significant changes for Harris Teeter stores, which will retain their branding and management. [Washington Post]
Still No Tenants for Rosslyn Skyscraper — The new 35-story office building at 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn — now the D.C. area’s tallest building other than the Washington Monument — is set to open in October. However, the building, which was built “on spec” by owner Monday Properties, could open without a single tenant. [WJLA]
All-American Honors for DJO Softball Stars — Bishop O’Connell softball stars (and recent graduates) Tori Finucane and Jillian Ferraro have been chosen as All-Americans by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Beauty Pageant in Crystal City — The annual Miss United States beauty pageant is taking place at Synetic Theater in Crystal City today and tomorrow (Saturday). Single women between the ages of 20 and 29 come from 55 states and U.S. territories to compete in the pageant. [Miss United States]
Marymount Launching Baseball Program — Arlington’s Marymount University is launching a baseball program, with a team composed largely of freshmen from Northern Virginia high schools. The team will play at Bishop O’Connell High School’s baseball field. [Washington Post]
County Still Reviewing Streetcar Finance Options — Arlington County officials are still trying to decide on their preferred funding mechanism for the Columbia Pike streetcar project. The streetcar could be built and in operation as early as 2017. [Sun Gazette]
Yelp Details ‘Yuppie’ Concentration in Clarendon — The business review site Yelp has published a map that shows the concentration of certain words in reviews. In the D.C. area, the word “yuppie” has the highest concentration in Clarendon. It also shows up to a lesser degree in Ballston, Courthouse and the Columbia Pike town center area. [Yelp]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Flash Flood Watch Today — A Flash Flood Watch is in effect today for Arlington and the rest of the region. Rain showers and thunderstorms are expected to dump 1-3 inches of rain on the area through this evening. [National Weather Service]
APS Receives ‘SRTS’ Grant — Arlington Public Schools has received a $67,600 state grant that will be used to fund a new “Safe Routes to School” coordinator position. The SRTS program will help “enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school.” It also seeks to make walking and bicycling to school safer while reducing traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution near schools. [Arlington Public Schools]
DJO Pitcher Honored by Gatorade – Bishop O’Connell High School softball pitcher Tori Finucane has been named the 2012-2013 Gatorade Virginia Softball Player of the Year. Finucane is now eligible to be named the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Martin Humm
‘Virginia Room’ Reopens With New Name — The former Virginia Room at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) has reopened following renovations. Meanwhile, the room has been renamed the “Center for Local History.” [Arlington Public Library]
Phoenix Bikes Plans Move — The nonprofit Phoenix bike shop has been raising money for a planned move. The new location will be larger than the current classroom-sized shop. Like the current shop, it will be located on public property — at S. Walter Reed Drive and Four Mile Run Drive, next to the W&OD Trail. [Arlington Mercury]
Haute Fabrics Now Open Near Ballston — Marshall, Va.-based fabric shop Haute Fabrics has opened a second location, near Ballston. The new location is located at 730 N. Glebe Road and offers two floors worth of fabrics. [My Notting Hill]
Flickr pool photo by Mrs. Gemstone
Thousands of Armed Protesters Expected on July 4 — Pro-gun activists are planning an open carry protest march from Arlington National Cemetery, across the Memorial Bridge and into D.C. The protest, which is being organized on Facebook, is to take place on July 4. Participants are encouraged to march with loaded rifles slung across their backs. More than 2,000 have indicated their intention to participate in the “non-violent event.” [Huffington Post]
DJO Softball Finishes 24-1 — The elite Bishop O’Connell softball team has finished the regular season with a 24-1 record after consecutive victories against Yorktown and Paul VI. The nationally-ranked Knights will now advance to the playoffs. [Sun Gazette]
Too-Tall Parking Meters Being Replaced — A manufacturer of Arlington’s multi-space parking meters is replacing 16 meters that don’t meet current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements because they’re too tall. The replacements are being done at no cost to the county. [Arlington Mercury]
New Bus Shelters Vandalized in Arlandria — There has been a wave of vandalism directed toward new glass-paned bus shelters in the Arlandria section of Alexandria, adjacent to Arlington. [The Arlandrian]
Flickr pool photo by Maryva2