D.J. Ward surprised many Thursday when he showed up at Southmoore High School to enroll after not quite a month at Douglass.
It's been a hectic month of moving and upheaval for Ward, the state's top player in the 2013 class, after a long period of stability.
Unlike many military families, Ward didn't move from town to town, jumping from school to school.
He had been in Lawton for his entire school years until this summer, when his father, Demetrius Sr., applied for and accepted a job as a Junior ROTC instructor at Douglass High School.
The family moved into temporary housing in the Southmoore district, with plans to move into the Douglass district soon.
Those plans reportedly changed, leading to his change of enrollment last week.
The move puts the defensive lineman's eligibility in question.
He'd been granted a hardship waiver to compete at Douglass based on the family's plans at the time.
The situation has once again brought the rules of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association into the spotlight.
So here are a few questions and answers about the rules that govern the situation:
Is his playing in the final scrimmage important?
Yes. It established his eligibility at Douglass after the initial waiver was requested.
Had Ward not played in the Oklahoma City Preview, his eligibility would not have been set and the hardship could've been withdrawn, making him eligible after 15 days at Southmoore.
If he lives in the Southmoore district, why is a second hardship needed?
According to the rules, once a student has filed for a hardship waiver, they must file for another hardship waiver each time they transfer, even if it's a move from Guymon to Idabel.
This rule popped up a couple years ago with the Daxx Garman situation at Jones High. Garman had been granted a waiver to attend Carl Albert but had not filed for one when the family moved to Jones. That waiver was subsequently denied when it was filed for retroactively.
If the second waiver is denied, what are the options?
His eligibility should still be valid at Douglass, although he'd have to re-enroll and would be subject to sitting out 15 days from competition. He could also appeal the ruling to the OSSAA's board of directors if the staff denies hardship. That group meets Wednesday, although paperwork might not be filed requesting the waiver until Tuesday, due to the holiday.
And if the second waiver is approved?
Ward would be eligible to participate in the SaberCats' third game of the season, against Moore on Sept. 14. He would have to sit out Friday's game against Westmoore in accordance with the OSSAA's 15-day rule.
Could Ward have remained at Lawton?
If his family would've moved to Oklahoma City, Ward could've remained at Lawton, since his eligibility had been established there and because he is a senior
An underclassman must change schools if their parent or guardians move unless it's during the year (can remain at old school until the end of the semester) or is entering or in the 12th grade, then they can stay for the entire year.