Buffalo Public Schools athletic director Aubrey Lloyd just notified me that two city schools have had to post forfeits in what is a very young football season.
Bennett has forfeited its impressive, season-opening 44-16 nonleague victory Saturday over Grand Island because it used an ineligible player. A player who had transferred from Lafayette participated in the game; while some of the player's paperwork had been completed, it had not been completed in its entirety, thus making him ineligible, Lloyd said.
The paperwork has been completed and the player is now eligible to compete in Week Two.
Lafayette has forfeited its Week Two game with Fredonia, which had been scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. Friday at All High Stadium. That forfeiture is a result of the suspension of 12 players for academic reasons.
"We have to do things the right way," said Lloyd. "It was a great game for [Bennett] the kids to win, a morale booster, and they're turning things around with a new administration and a new coach -- but the kids have to be eligible."
Regarding Lafayette's situation, Lloyd said: "It's about academics, that's what we're here for. We all support the principal [Naomi Cerre]. Academics come first. Students need to know that. If they don't achieve certain grades, they can't play or will be put on probation."
This is certainly a bummer for Bennett after starting the season with such a good win, but it was a nonleague game so it doesn't affect their playoff chances. It was merely a clerical error, and the player is now eligible, so one would think there wouldn't be any issues going forward. The re-enthused Tigers should still optimistic about the season.
The news regarding Lafayette is not totally surprising, considering the on-again, off-again status of not just the athletic program but the school itself. Here's hoping that the students involved improve their academics and earn their way back on the field. The forfeit doesn't affect Lafayette's playoff status either; the Mighty Violets were already ineligible for the playoffs this year because it was added to the Section VI schedule well after the leagues and schedule were set up. Lafayette's athletic program was thought to be defunct following last season.
One aspect of Lafayette's forfeit this week that should be considered is that Fredonia is now without a game. I doubt they would be able to schedule some sort of contest at this juncture, and that is unfortunate for them.
Many a football coach has stressed to his team that players only have a certain number of opportunities to be a football player, to take the field with your teammates. In Section VI, the regular season lasts just seven weeks. Fredonia has unfortunately lost one of those opportunities due to a situation beyond their control.
taggedBennett | Football | Fredonia | Grand Island | High school football | Lafayette