Religious beliefs force Houston school from state tournament

Dallas Covenant will face a new opponent in the semifinals of the TAPPS state basketball tournament on Friday.

The Beren Academy (23-5) boys basketball team has forfeited their spot
in the tournament due to their religious beliefs, according to a report
by The Houston Chronicle.

The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) on Monday
denied a request by Beren Academy, an Orthodox Jewish day school in
Houston, to move the start time of their scheduled game from 9 p.m. on
Friday.

The start time of the game conflicts with the schools observation of the Jewish Sabbath.

“It’s disappointing. I’ve been here 10 years and I’ve always known where
our priorities lie,” Beren head coach and athletic director Chris Cole
told the Houston Chronicle. “We were hopeful and optimistic going in
that we could be able to do both — adhere to
the religious beliefs here and play basketball.”

Dallas Covenant will now face Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills, who was defeated by Beren Academy 69-42 last week.

“We were hopeful that they would be able to work with us, but we respect
their decision,” Cole told the paper. “It’s never happened where we’ve
played during Shabbat, and it will never happen. The kids know that, and
the kids are fantastic at understanding.”

The observation of the Jewish Sabbath keeps Beren from playing games from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday.

TAPPS is an organization that governs the the play private schools in
the state of Texas and membership into the association is voluntary.