Maryland high school coach pulls team, goes on rant about officiating


A Maryland high school football coach tweeted a tirade after his team’s penalty loss last month.

This week, his ire came during and after a visit to Delaware, where the recipients failed to appreciate the theatrics.

Tyree Spinner’s first tirade, aimed at officials of the Maryland Board of Football, claimed “inequality” and “inconsistencies” which he considered “blatant”. He felt his team had been betrayed.

His Mount Zion team had lost 21-6 at Calvert Hall in a game abandoned with 54 seconds left when penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct flew after a punt.

Last Saturday, Spinner took his team to the Alapocas to compete against the Wilmington Friends. On that occasion, Spinner was so outraged by the administration that he brought his team home early and vented again on Twitter.

“It’s one thing to be scammed, but to be ignored by ALL officials is a disgrace to this game,” Spinner wrote to condemn the Northern Delaware Football Officials Association.

On the contrary, suggested Bob Collins, the NDFOA President, who did not edit the game but received a full report.

Friends, the state’s top-ranked Class 2A team, led 34-0 when the game ended early in the middle of the third period. The Quakers had turned several first-half turnovers into touchdowns, and Mount Zion’s trouble controlling the Friends’ defense resulted in a few hold calls.

“That’s when the arguments started,” Collins said. “As the game went on, [Spinner] got louder and louder.”

And the official crew heard him.

Ironically, the game’s chief referee, Andrew Bero, is also the state rules interpreter.

Friends coach Rob Tattersall Jr. defended the umpires.

“They did nothing wrong,” said Tattersall, who stressed that all relations between opposing coaches and players were perfectly civil. “They missed calls on both sides. . . it is always like that.”

Friends had actually been awarded a penalty Tattersall wasn’t too fond of after scoring a touchdown late in the second quarter that put him 31-0. Between the extra point and kick-off, Spinner was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Friends took a 34-0 lead in the third period with a field goal before a final disagreement hastened Mount Zion’s exit. After a third down Mount Zion play, a Friends player was knocked down for a dead ball personal foul, sending Mount Zion back 15 yards on the fourth down.

“He argued it was live ball and he should have gotten past relegation, which isn’t the case,” Collins said. “That was what prompted him to seemingly take his team off the field. He said he was being scammed and all that stuff.”

Soccer is actually a first-year program at Mount Zion, a private boarding school in Lanham, Prince Georges County. It has had a high-level basketball program for the past decade and now aims to create “a national contender with some of the best HS football programs in the country,” according to its website.

The team was 1-5 after losing to Friends, although Tattersall said some visiting fans weren’t too happy about the manager’s decision to end the game early and go home.

“One person came up to me and said, ‘Coach, I just want to say you’ve surpassed us, your kids have surpassed us, and your entire organization has surpassed us. Sorry for that,’” Tattersall said.

” . . . They were nothing but respectful to us. They played a pretty clean game. Our children said: “They didn’t twitter. You didn’t talk rubbish.’ And I can tell you, they came out in the third quarter and played hard.” Having to deal with short-tempered coaches is hardly the kind of experience the NDFOA, grappling with aging squads and less aspiring umpires, would prefer it strives to make office a more desirable sideline.

Because of the lack of officials, the schools now play some games on Thursdays so that there are enough referees.

“We have people who come to our defense who don’t normally deal with officers,” Collins said. “If you do this for a long time, after a while it starts to tire you. We’ve lost quite a lot of people because of problems like this. It does not help.”

Have an idea for a compelling local sports story, or is there an issue that deserves public scrutiny? Contact Kevin Tresolini at [email protected] and follow @kevintresolini on Twitter. Support local journalism by subscribing to

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