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North Lake Cowboys forced to forfeit baseball season

North Lake School was rocked by an unfortunate, yet innocent transgression this past week, forcing its playoff-appearing baseball team to forfeit its 12-11 playoff win from Tuesday, May 14, in addition to all but one of its regular season games.

The Cowboys were forced to declare students ineligible for competition per rule 8.5 of the Oregon School Activities Association, which deals with school representation and student grades.

OSAA officials would not specify which statute was specifically violated, directing questions to the school in question. North Lake was cautious not to divulge information that would point to the student or students’ names, but Supt. David Kerr, whose first official day on the job was April 22, did state that the forfeitures were a result of numerous erroneous assumptions; assumptions made by the school(s) involved and parents.

Coach Dan Ward said it was brought to his attention early on game day that the student or students in question had not yet registered with the Lake County ESD, which deemed them ineligible.

That was later confirmed and the playoff win that would have sent North Lake onto the next round was then forfeited.

Since the OSAA is in the middle of redistricting, they sent out questionnaires to classify enrollment. They were due back by May 31, and their goal is to determine the average daily membership of each school, which is then used to determine what classification the school will fall under.

The list revealed a rules violation, which led to the discovery of student(s) ineligibility.

According to Ward, nobody ever checked on the student or students’ statuses. Ward reported the violation to the OSAA after having the information confirmed on the morning of Wednesday, May 15. “If people do their jobs, things go well,” he said. “But mistakes were made and my boys paid the price.”

When news of ineligibility trickled down the brass, Kerr called for a team meeting with both coaches present, and informed the team. Tempers flared, feelings were hurt and a few students even stormed out.

“It’s very upsetting, and the boys are very upset,” said Ward. “This should have been checked during the basketball season.”

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