Flint Southwestern Academy has taken another blow. After I posted in my weekly prep football column yesterday about the game between FSWA and Mount Pleasant, I learned that Southwestern had to forfeit their first three wins of the season due to an ineligible player. This happens only weeks after two players were suspended from the team while serving the sentence handed down by a judge, released under the Holmes Youthful Offender Act.
From my understanding, the young man played athletics out of state, and then moved to Flint where he had to repeat his freshman year. MHSAA rules stipulate that young men and women are only eligible for eight semesters. This ruling drops FWSA to 2-4 on the season, eliminates them from being in contention for the Saginaw Valley League title and essentially eliminates them from making the playoffs. Even if they win out, itâ€™s not likely that a 5-4 team will make the playoffs, although they would have their first winning season since 1981.
My heart goes out to those players and staff who has been working their tails off since practice began in August. No young man or woman should have to go through all the controversy these young men have endured. With the huge enrollment increase for their school this past year (a little over 600 students added) and a great coach in Gary Lee, I think they will get to that place they want to be. Unfortunately, it wonâ€™t be this year.