Covering High School Sports in America
Wednesday will be a crucial day in the young history of the Eastern Christian Academy (Elkton, Md.) football team.

David Sills IV, father of standout sophomore quarterback David Sills, told MaxPreps today, "We have not been approved by the Maryland Secondary Schools Athletic Association. Connections has a meeting with them tomorrow afternoon."

File photo by Bill Berg

Quarterback David Sills of Red Lion Christian in 2010.

Connections is National Connections Academy, the online school the players are enrolled in, and is featured in a recent Sports Illustrated article.

Because of some uncertainly about Eastern Christian's eligibility on the part of West Catholic (Philadelphia), it has cancelled Saturday's game against Eastern Christian, Sills said. He has only slim hopes that if his team gets sanctioned by its home state that game could be played. You can find more about why West Catholic was worried in a blog post on Philly.com.

The Eastern Christian players take online courses at National Connections Academy and Sills admits there is a lot of confusion involved. He believes that if the Maryland association sanctions the team, the biggest problems will be out of the way.

"I know what reason they would have to deny us," Sills said. "We did not have any Maryland public schools on our schedule. We are trying to take care of that."

At this point Eastern Christian's next game is Sept. 7 against Friendship Academy (Washington, D.C.) at the U.S. Naval Academy. They won their first two games and have six more on the schedule. The team has received calls from places as far away as Texas and hopes to fill a couple open dates.

If state approval comes, Eastern Christian - with seven Division I-bound players - also will be able to play national power Curtis (River Ridge, La.) in a nationally televised game on Oct. 18.

Despite the controversy, Sills pointed out, "Our purpose is specifically to get kids the ability to go to college who couldn't afford it. It has very little to do with football. Your education is going to be the key (to the future)."