Less than three weeks from the beginning of a new high school football season, Boardman has already been dealt its first loss.
Word leaked out on Monday that arguably Boardman’s best player, receiver Dayne Hammond, has decided to leave the school to attend Warren Harding. Hammond is a six-foot, five-inch senior who was the Spartans’ best returning receiver with close to 700 yards receiving and seven scores in 2010. Whenever Boardman quarterback Ryan Pollifrone was in trouble he could just toss the ball up to the giant Hammond and Dayne would usually come down with it. He will also leave a void in the Boardman defensive backfield where he used his size and speed to lock down opposing pass catchers. Hammond was an all-conference and all-district player at Boardman who is being recruited heavily by Division I college football programs. First-year Spartan head coach Mark D’Eramo has enough to worry about with his head coaching debut coming up on Aug. 27 against powerhouse Cleveland Benedictine so he certainly could not solely focus on Hammond’s departure.
“I don’t have much to say,” said D’Eramo a few hours after this story spread. “I really do not know what happened. I have 55 other kids to coach. We have to move on and get ready for that first game.”
Moving on to Harding is apparently what Hammond will now do. Although nobody at the Warren school could confirm this decision, Hammond stated he would be transferring to Harding on his Facebook page.
The only legal way for Hammond to enroll at Harding is if his parents or legal guardian makes the move to Warren with him. According to OHSAA bylaw 4-7-2 exception 1, a student’s parent or legal guardian must make “a bona fide change of residence from one public school district to another school district.”
It is unconfirmed if that has happened in the Hammond family, but assuming that it did means he is immediately eligible to take the field at Harding. That also means that Dayne’s days as a Spartan have ended.