Emotional day for playoff start

Friday was an emotional day for several high schools in our area, but it was a night of celebration for Ashtabula's Edgewood High School, who in the last hours, made it back to what would be the school's first time in the high school football playoffs.

An Edgewood mom began tearing up when she talked about the confusing and frustrating situation.  "I can't even explain that feeling.  It was crushing and devastating and no one even knew where to turn, " said Cherisa Monda. 

The school learned this past Sunday, they were going to the playoffs.  But two days later, Cleveland Heights High School filed a Temporary Restraining Order against the Ohio High School Athletic Association that led a judge to knock-out Edgewood and Mansfield High Schools in place of Beachwood and Cleveland Heights High Schools. 

NewsChannel5 spoke with Height's Athletic Director Wednesday who described their battle to be over a technicality or forfeit that was not accepted by the OHSAA.  Doing so, the Athletic Director explained, would've bumped them to the top eight, giving them a seat in playoffs.

 The next day, a judge ruled in favor of Height's, which meant Edgewood and Mansfield were now out.

"To watch my team, my school accomplish something and then just get turned down, it was horrible," said Edgewood Senior, Dravyn Tackett. 

Steven Perkio, another Edgewood student said, "It was like ripping the heart out of Edgewood.  It really crushed us."

Friday equaled another day in court over playoffs, this time with Mansfield High School leaders testifying.

It was just hours before the season's 1st Division II playoff game with the fate of two teams in the air, until Edgewood's students and staff say their Principal made a late announcement over the PA system.

Ms. Beth, an Edgewood teacher told NewsChannel5, " …he said, welcome to the playoffs and it was really cool, the whole school went ballistic because we were all waiting, we were waiting at that point."

The Judge receded his decision blaming the OHSAA in court.

"I'm trying to undo this mess that as far as I'm concerned is due to the Ohio High School Athletic Association," said the Judge, "by refusing to define, or make exceptions for any kind of forfeiture except for any way they want to see it."

Cleveland Heights and other school leaders are already planning to take this issue up with OHSAA so it doesn't happen again. 

Cleveland Height's Athletic Director, Kristin Hughes said in an interview on Wednesday, "It's not a win for anybody and that's what's so hard about this situation.  I feel for Mayfield, I feel for the other schools involved with this.  To us, the best solution would be to have a play-in game and then no one gets hurt." 

After the ruling, Edgewood went on to play Brookfield in Girard, Ohio for a 7:30 p.m. game start.  They lost 38 to 14.

Saturday, Mayfield is slated to play St. Edward for day one of the Division I playoffs.

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