CLEVELAND - Before the high school playoffs can be decided on the field, they will have to continue going through the courts.
Cuyahoga County Judge Richard McMonagle ruled in favor of Cleveland Heights High School Thursday, sending them to the playoffs in place of Mayfield.
Friday, a judge has granted a motion to intervene for Mayfield City Schools.
Mayfield Schools will be in court with their attorney at 12:45 p.m. in calling witnesses and asking judges to lift the temporary restraining order so they can play.
The hearing will happen in Cuyahoga County Court with Judge McMonagle.
The issue stems around one ineligible player and has left four teams’ playoff berths hanging in the balance. Under the current ruling, Cleveland Heights and Beachwood are in the playoffs, and Mayfield and Ashtabula Edgewood no longer qualify.
“We felt we deserved the spot because Cleveland JFK forfeited a game that it won over John Adams, which Cleveland Heights defeated,” stated CH-UH Superintendent Doug Heuer, in a news release on Thursday. “The OHSAA didn’t recognize the forfeit and would not adjust the final computer ratings, that’s why we had to challenge the decision in court.”
But Mayfield has their own argument for deserving the spot.
"The Wildcats, our athletes, our coaches, our parents have become collateral damage in a court ruling which, quite frankly, makes no sense," Superintendent Keith Kelly said. "Mayfield earned its way onto the playoff field. We were invited to play by OHSAA."
As of now, Cleveland Heights will play St. Edward in a Division I regional quarterfinal Saturday at 7 p.m.
OHSAA’s Director of Information Services Tim Stried released the following statement Thursday:
“The OHSAA was notified today of a Cuyahoga County court’s decision to rule in favor of Cleveland Heights regarding the football eligibility of another school, which results in Cleveland Heights receiving enough computer points to earn the eighth and final spot in the Division I, Region 1 playoffs. The OHSAA is working with its legal team and the legal teams of the schools affected by this decision to pursue our next course of action. Because of second-level computer points, the court’s decision has many implications for other teams and regions of the playoffs, which are scheduled to begin Friday night. To be clear, the student-athlete in question at the school which forfeited its game was eligible by all OHSAA standards.”
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