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Perry Hall Boys Soccer Team Moves Past Controversy On Road To State Championship

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PERRY HALL, Md. (WJZ)—The Perry Hall soccer team almost lost the chance to play in the state tournament. Now they’re one step closer to the championship game. 

As Gigi Barnett explains, it’s all over a controversial victory dance.

Perry Hall High School’s boys soccer team is still on the road to the state championship, and they almost lost the chance after doing a controversial victory dance called “The Bernie” last week.

“We don’t celebrate no more,” said Vinnie Magliano, Perry Hall soccer player. “We just run to each other and give each other high fives, and then go back and continue playing.”

It was this dance performed after scoring the winning goal against Dulaney High School last week that landed the team in hot water. Dulaney parents called “The Bernie” lewd and inappropriate.

So the boys’ principal, George Roberts, forfeited the win and ended the season.

But Roberts changed his mind after heavy backlash from parents and players.

“The intent of my original decision was not to punish the students but to preserve the dignity and character of an educational based athletic program,” Roberts said.

“If the principal wouldn’t have reversed his decision, we would’ve never known that they would be the champs where they are right now,” said a parent.

Tuesday night the team clinched its regional championship.

Practice is intense. They’re one game away from the championship match. And Perry Hall is now a Cinderella team.

“Right now I feel like it’s all or nothing,” said Christopher White, Perry Hall soccer player.

“The Bernie” comes from the 80s movie “Weekend at Bernie’s.”  It simulates a dead man dancing. And it’s so popular now that even Ravens players use it to celebrate. But not Perry Hall.

The next step now is the state semifinals. That game comes on Saturday night. And if Perry Hall wins, they’ll advance to the state championship game.

Although the team can now play, players are not in the clear for doing “The Bernie” dance. School leaders ordered the boys to complete an online training course in good sportsmanship.

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