Upstate high school team forfeits playoffs due to ineligible player

Anderson District 1 said the school accepts responsibility for having an ineligible player on the team.
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 4:55 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 28, 2022 at 5:20 PM EDT
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PIEDMONT, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Just before playoffs season, the Wren High School soccer team found out they won’t be able to compete.

The district confirmed Thursday that an ineligible player participated on the Wren boys soccer team this season, an error they say is on the part of the high school.

A spokesperson for the district released the following statement:

“Wren High School accepts responsibility for allowing an ineligible player to participate with their Boys Soccer team during the 2022 season. Unfortunately, an error was made by the Athletic Department in the interpretation of eligibility requirements for Charter School, Home School, and Private School students during the eligibility process for spring sports. This was a simple mistake. We apologize to our student athletes for this mistake but take responsibility for it and the consequences.”

Dr. Chris Ferguson, Director of Secondary Education, Anderson District 1

The mother of the teen who has been found ineligible says her son was approved to play by both Wren High School and the South Carolina High School League in January. She said he attends a private school that does not have a soccer team but is zoned for Wren so he was able to play with their varsity team.

SCHSL declined to comment on the situation.

The school district has not released specifics on why the player is ineligible, but Dr. Ferguson said Wren High School had to forfeit all games where he was dressed, resulting in the team not qualifying for the AAA playoffs.

Anna Steele, the parent of a senior on the Wren High School soccer team, called the decision “heart-wrenching.”

“It is heart-wrenching to know that they have worked so hard and put their heart and soul,” she said. “They’ve already missed a complete year because of COVID. And then basically last year was an odd year also, for quarantine and various reasons. And now to have this happen, and to know it was based off of basically clerical error or discrepancy in the bylaws.”