Nov. 11, 2014
Duluth News Tribune
Duluth transfer player allowed to play
By Louie St. George
Nov 11, 2014 at 11:08 p.m.
Cam McClure, who transferred from Duluth Marshall to Duluth Denfeld for his senior year, learned Tuesday that he is eligible to play varsity hockey for the Hunters this winter.
The Minnesota State High School League stipulates that transfers sit out one year of varsity athletics at their new school. McClure and his family requested an exemption, citing financial hardship — and an inability to afford Marshall’s tuition — as well as the high school league’s policy governing transfer requests made by students with learning disabilities, known as IEP/504.
McClure was diagnosed in October 2013 with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as an anxiety disorder, which hindered his ability to meet Marshall’s strict academic standards. Specifically, McClure struggled to keep his focus during Marshall’s 90-minute class periods. His grades took a hit.
The family’s exemption request was denied in early September, as was their appeal in October, prompting them to retain a lawyer ahead of their hearing last week with the MSHSL. But the high school league notified Denfeld activities director Tom Pearson on Tuesday that it had overturned the decision — a rarity in an arena where very few appeals are successful — and McClure will be able to skate with Denfeld during his senior year.
“It wasn’t something that we expected, but definitely happy I get to play hockey this year,” McClure said Tuesday night.
Because of the process, McClure did miss his final high school soccer season, which was a disappointment for the 18-year-old.
“There is (disappointment), but it’s also a good life lesson,” McClure’s father, Jason McClure, said. “We knew it would be a hard thing to go through, and honestly transferring shouldn’t be easy — I said that all along. But when you have a genuine issue, you shouldn’t have to go through hell. The biggest issue I had with this was just the length, the weeks of not communicating and ignoring us and not doing anything. It was just really frustrating. This could have been done two weeks into school.
“We’re happy, but it shouldn’t have taken this long.”
In its decision, the high school league said Cam McClure’s “case warranted an exception to the rule,” according to his father.