Bolton High football team banned from post season play - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Bolton High football team banned from post season play

They made the playoffs but they won't be playing. A Shelby County High School football team has been banned from competition because of a boundaries violation.

Now, players and boosters are headed to Nashville to try to persuade officials to reverse the decision.

Since Friday, Action News 5 has received all kinds of e-mails on the subject. It's part of a last ditch effort to overturn a playoff loss even though they have yet to play.

Now, the football field sits empty with only the only sound of ghosts of a season past.

Now, there's complete silence and the football field sits empty. Despite a winning season and a playoff bid, the Bolton High School stadium will stay quiet.

Parents, players, and coaches, though are anything but quiet.

School officials discovered the problem late last week. A student, a junior on the football team, does not actually live in the district.

The documents saying he did had been forged. The school reported it to the state and by day's end, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association determined Bolton must forfeit six wins and it's playoff spot because an ineligible player participated.

"This kills me. This tears me up," says Mike Pittman. I'm losing the opportunity for my son to get seen by scouts, which means $60, $70, 80,000 dollars that I have lost that opportunity," adds Pittman.

It's an opportunity for which Coach Joe Welch plans to fight. He's making the trip to Nashville to meet with TSSAA officials to plead Bolton's case.

"This is not right. We had nothing to do with it. No way to stop it or prevent it," says Welch.

His argument is the only sound among an empty feeling and an empty stadium.

Welch and the athletic director will make the trip tomorrow morning. Their argument may go for naught. The rule states that any team that uses an ineligible player whether they knew about it or not must forfeit.

In this case, not only was Bolton High eliminated from the playoffs, but as a result, Bartlett High lost it's spot as well.


Click here to email Nick Kenney.
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