HS Twins Up Against the Wall
By LEN MANIACE and LEONARD GREENE
On nearly every flat surface in their home is a trophy with their names on it, proof of their reign as the king and queen of high-school handball.
But twins Joshua and Raquel Garcia’s impressive run may be over — not because of an opponent’s powerful serve, but because of a fine-print rule that says they can’t compete in tournaments for money, even if the prize is barely enough to buy a video game.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Joshua, a senior at the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
A-TROPHY: Brooklyn HS seniors (and twins) Joshua and Raquel Garcia have been banned from PSAL handball matches because of a fine-print ban against accepting prize money.
“They’re penalizing me for something everyone else has done for 20 years. They never enforced the rule.”
At issue is a Public School Athletic League regulation that bars students who play interscholastic sports from “competing for money or other compensation.”
Joshua won $100 in the August tournament. Raquel merely participated, which is also against the rules.
The 17-year-olds, who will attend John Jay College in the fall, said they didn’t know it was a violation, because players have been doing it for years.
What they suspect is that a rival coach ratted them out to eliminate the competition.
“If I knew, I wouldn’t have joined the tournament,” Raquel said. “It was during the summer. Free time. My coach never said anything about it.”
The siblings have already missed half the season.
Their father, Mike Garcia, said he’s struggling to find the lesson his kids are supposed to learn.
“If my son or daughter failed in class they would not be playing. But they’re honor-roll students. This is what the PSAL does to good students? I thought the PSAL was supposed to be for the kids.”