CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio - The Cleveland Heights football team already has a win under their belts as they head into the playoffs.
On Thursday, the school found out it had won its legal action filed against the OHSAA earlier this week and will meet St. Edward in round one of the playoffs Saturday at 7 p.m. at Lakewood Stadium.
"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."
The impact surrounding an ineligible player used by JFK High School will impact up to four different teams. Cleveland Heights and Beachwood high schools will make the playoffs, while Mayfield and Ashtabula Edgewood would be eliminated.
"I nearly cried with joy. We've been practicing all week with a strong belief in the legal system," Cleveland Heights High football coach Jeff Rotsky said.Director of information services for OHSAA Tim Stried released the following statement:
"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."
The Playoff picture was further confused on Thursday night when Ashabula County Judge Alfred Mackey ruled in favor of Edgewood allowing them to play on Friday night against Brookfield high school. Edgewood was replaced by Beachwood after the Cuyahoga County Court ruling, to further confuse things, Brookfield Athletic Director Tim Taylor is not sure which ruling is the right one. His football coach was in the process of trying to trade tape with Beachwood.Brookfield has said it would file a restraining order to prevent a Friday night game if the Cuyahoga County ruling is upheld.