Decision made on high school football playoff spots

CLEVELAND - UPDATE: The word came by phone to Ashtabula Edgewood High School's office just before 2 p.m. Their superintendent, whom had been in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Friday morning, had just witnessed testimony by other schools affected by Judge Richard McMonagle's ruling Thursday. He quickly relayed that the OHSSA's temporary restraining order had been vacated, giving their school's football team its first ever playoff birth Friday evening in Girard against Brookfield. The school was in the midst of holding a pep rally simply in the hope of getting to participate in their school's first ever post season Warriors football game.

The packed gymnasium erupted with the news. Many in attendance were wearing red shirts with "BE AN 11 WARRIOR," the number eleven signifying to the student body to be one better than a perfect ten in their daily approach. With 11 being a school motto, it was only fitting that an eleventh hour court decision had now put Edgewood in a playoff venue in a suburb of Youngstown. The game was to be played in Brookfield's stadium, but the overly saturated field forced the game to be played on Girard High School's turf field.

Hoping to perhaps win by 11 points, Edgewood fell short to Brookfield 38-14 at the end of an emotional roller coaster Friday. 

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UPDATE 2 p.m.: OHSAA's temporary restraining order was vacated by a judge Friday afternoon. It means Cleveland Heights is out of the playoffs again, along with Beachwood. Mayfield and Ashtabula Edgewood High School get the playoff spots.

At 3:15 p.m., Cleveland Heights-University Heights superintendent Doug Heuer issued the following statement to the media.

"We are very proud of our student-athletes and how they have represented Cleveland Heights High School over the course of this season. We are disappointed by the court's decision to rescind its earlier ruling. We took this matter to court because it was the right thing to do for our kids. We acted in accordance with our understanding of the rules governing the OHSAA. We wish all of the teams who have been permitted to participate in the tournament the best of luck and well wishes."

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard McMonagle rescinded the temporary restraining order he issued against the Ohio High School Athletic Association Thursday morning.  "I apologize for the pain it caused some people.  I do not feel it as a personal pain.  I just think that the Ohio High School Athletic Association ought to get themselves together and redefine what is a forfeit," he said from the bench.

Mayfield High School will now face St. Edward Saturday in the opening round of the playoffs.  "We are very excited for our kids, our team and our community.  I think they will be elated to her this news and we're just proud and now we can look forward to tomorrow night and enjoy that game,"  said Dr. Keith Kelly, superintendent of Mayfield City Schools.

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The clock is ticking on this year's OHSAA playoffs and time now is becoming a factor with kickoffs for tonight's first round game scheduled for 7:30 p.m. across the state.

OHSAA commissioners met via conference call for one hour this afternoon to discuss the situation, involving Cleveland Heights, Mayfield, Beachwood and Ashtabula Edgewood High Schools.

All of the schools involved have now filed temporary restraining orders.

The Ohio Supreme Court is aware of the situation and remains ready to intervene according to one high-ranking OHSAA official.

There have been many different scenarios discussed involving the four teams, including postponements and playing games during the week but only with the teams involved. The rest of the playoffs will go on as scheduled this weekend.

 "Until a resolution is reached by the courts, there can't be a game," Tim Stried, Director of Information Services for OHSAA said.

The OHSAA is expected to make a decision by 2 p.m.

Stay tuned to newsnet5.com for the latest on this evolving situation.

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