Mill River Protest Denied

Montpelier — The Vermont Principals Association Protest Committee unanimously voted to deny Mill River’s appeal of an earlier VPA decision regarding a Mill River protest of a play that occurred during Woodstock Union High’s 21-20 overtime win in the Vermont Division III championship game on Saturday.

According to the Woodstock Athletic Director Jeff Thomas, Mill River Principal Andy Pomeroy accepted the VPA decision, but expressed an interest in the possible use of video in the future. The VPA currently does not allow the use of video to overrule a call.

A news release from the VPA indicated that while the video is not allowed now, there is some appeal for its use in the future.

“We remain open to studying the further the issue of whether technology can be used appropriately in some capacity,” the release from the protest committee stated.

Thomas said he was not surprised at the decision.

“I watched the all the videos and pictures and I can’t clearly tell what happened,” Thomas said. “It would be wrong to use video for just selected plays and not the whole game. There was a play in the second quarter that I thought wrongly went against our team. We can’t have an official in the press box looking at video or have the referee go under the hood.”

The play in question occurred on third-and goal in the first overtime, with Mill River leading 19-13. Woodstock’s Tom Bauman appeared to have fumbled the ball as he dove toward the end zone. He was called down at the 1-yard line by the line judge. Woodstock scored on the next play and kicked the extra point to win the game.

Mill River did not protest immediately, but on Sunday morning notified the VPA and the protest process began. The VPA denied the protest on Monday, which was then appealed by Mill River.

Thomas said he felt sorry for the officials who have to make instant game-time decisions.

“They don’t have the benefit of video coming from a number of directions. We’re talking about real life and real speed here,” he added.