BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A nine-year-old girl from Boothbay, who sang the National Anthem at last Saturday’s southern Class C girls’ basketball championship, has been told she can’t do it again—because she’s too young.
Suzie Edwards has been singing the anthem at Boothbay High School home games this season, and the team asked her to sing at last Saturday’s game n Augusta -- which Boothbay won.
But the school was told Monday by the Maine Principal’s Association that the tournament rules only allow high school students or adults to perform the national anthem. That meant Suzie couldn’t sing at the upcoming state title game.
Suzie and her father, Steven, told NEWS CENTER they’re disappointed, and think the rule should be changed.
“ Like it’s the worst rule on earth,” said Suzie.
“I totally think it’s unfair,” said her father.“ Why aren’t we encouraging our children, especially when there’s talent?”
Dick Durost, executive director of the Maine Principals Association, says that rule has been in place a long time. He says the goal of the tournaments is to showcase high school students, and that the MPA website clearly states high school bands and other performers are the ones who will do the national anthem.
Father and daughter say they still intend to be at Saturday’s game to cheer on the Boothbay girls. They also say they hope the MPA will revisit the rule and change it before next year’s tournaments. Durost says any request to change the rules would need to come from a high school principal or athletic director, and says he doesn’t expect that to occur.
Meanwhile, Suzie says she hopes to become a professional singer one day, at study. She also has another musical dream: she hopes to sing the national anthem at a Boston Red Sox game, in front of her favorite player, David Ortiz.