Things just keep getting better for the East Forsyth football team.
East, coming off resounding wins over Reynolds and Glenn, now has another win â€” a forfeit victory that reversed a season-opening loss to Rocky Mount.
Rocky Mount, ranked No. 1 in Class 3-A by The Associated Press, beat East 43-14 on Aug. 22. But officials at Rocky Mount discovered several days after the win that an ineligible player had played, and they reported the infraction to the N.C. High School Athletic Association.
As punishment under NCHSAA policy, Rocky Mount must forfeit the win and pay a $250 fine.
All of a sudden, East Forsyth is 3-0.
“In the aspect of possible rankings and playoff situations, obviously it’s a big deal for us,” Coach Todd Willert of East said. “You hate to get a win this way, but sometimes things happen, and obviously we would be more than happy to take it. It gives the kids a little more excitement, too. Maybe we can use this to motivate the kids, give them something to take advantage of.”
Michael Gainey, the athletics director at Rocky Mount, said that the player in question didn’t have enough credits last spring to be promoted to the senior class.
“It happens everywhere, and it’s something you do what you can to try and avoid,” Gainey said. “The kid met three of the four requirements, we just went to sleep on his promotion status. It’s an extra game, and it’s not going to prevent us from going to the playoffs.”
Coach B.W. Holt of Rocky Mount said he had two discussions with Que Tucker, the deputy executive director of the NCHSAA, last week.
Holt said that based on the wording in the NCHSAA handbook, he thinks that his school discovered and rectified the error in the given time frame and therefore shouldn’t be punished.
“It says in handbook at the end of each semester, the principal has eight schools days to check eligibility,” Holt said. “At the end of spring semester, the school days don’t start until the first day of school. We didn’t start school until Aug. 25.
“(The NCHSAA) says that the school days are over the summer, but that can’t be right. We don’t have guidance counselors working then.”
Holt said he plans to contact his superintendent to determine if he wants to continue challenging the ruling. Holt said that his school received a letter from the NCHSAA yesterday outlining the punishment.
East Forsyth is a member in proud standing of the Metro 4-A Conference along with Page, Grimsley, Smith and Northwest Guilford from Guilford County.
*****from journalnow.com at the Winston-Salem Journal with Mason Linker staff writer*****