The Washington High School football team might have to forfeit six of its seven wins this season and be knocked out of the WPIAL playoffs for using an ineligible player.
In another football note, Jeannette won't be dropping to Class A. But first the Washington situation ...
Washington school officials discovered last week that senior receiver-defensive back Quorteze Levy is in his fifth year of school. Under PIAA and WPIAL rules, a student can’t participate in athletics past his fourth year (eight semesters) of high school.
The WPIAL board of control had a hearing with Levy and Washington school officials this afternoon and the board later decided on a penalty. But WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said the penalty will not be made public until he informs Washington officials Tuesday morning.
Washington has a 7-1 record and had already qualified for the WPIAL Class AA playoffs as the second-place team in the Interstate Conference. Without the forfeit losses, Washington would have a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
Besides playing football for Washington, Levy also was on the basketball team last year, but averaged only 2 points. He was a standout hurdler this past spring in track. At the WPIAL Class AA championships, Levy (pictured) finished second in the 300-meter hurdles and fourth in the 110 hurdles.
Although O’Malley wouldn’t reveal the penalty on Washington, he did point out that PIAA and WPIAL rules clearly state if a team uses an ineligible player, it must forfeit any contests, even if the school was unaware the athlete was ineligible.
Levy attended ninth grade at a school in Michigan before transferring to Washington. He repeated ninth grade at Washington.
O’Malley said that although Levy didn’t play sports in ninth grade at the Michigan school, “your clock starts ticking when you start ninth grade and you only have four years.”
Jeannette staying in Class AA
The Jeannette school board voted, 5-4, tonight to have the football stay in Class AA and not drop to Class A.
Jeannette's enrollment makes it a Class A school, but the school has chosen to play "up" in Class AA. The school gave serious consideration to dropping the Jayhawks to Class A when the PIAA and WPIAL realigns for next year. Even coach Roy Hall spoke to the board about wanting to play in Class A.
But the board felt otherwise. So the board went against Hall's wishes and voted to remain in Class AA by one vote.
Jeannette plays Greensburg Central Catholic in the regular-season finale Friday.