Guthrie players remaining optimistic after OSSAA ruling
GUTHRIE — Now what?
No. 1 Guthrie, as expected, routed Southeast 48-0 Friday at Jelsma Stadium, but now the Bluejays are left wondering what their future holds.
Guthrie, which finished the regular season unbeaten, has been forced to forfeit eight of its 10 wins because the OSSAA ruled that Clint Simek, a move-in from Prague, is an ineligible player.
Guthrie and the Simek family will appeal the decision before the OSSAA board of directors on Wednesday.
“I don’t know what is about to happen,” junior quarterback Bryan Dutton said of Wednesday’s appeal. “I hope they get it right, because we really didn’t do anything wrong. Clint is one of my best friends, and just to see all the hard work we’ve put in go to waste like this, it’s a shame.”
The Guthrie players remained upbeat after Friday’s game, though, and most said they are optimistic about the team’s chances for a ruling reversal.
“We are undefeated, and getting that news was a big blow to us,” senior running back Luke Davis said. “But we’re keeping our heads up and hoping for the best, and we’ll see what happens Wednesday.
“The glass is half full. If we’re able to play, then this is all the motivation we need. I think our guys are pretty focused right now.”
Senior linebacker Landry Chappell, the team’s unquestioned leader on defense, said he goes back and forth on how he feels the appeal will go.
“Sometimes I think we’re gonna get it and sometimes I don’t,” he admitted.
Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins said the Bluejays will be in the film room, watching Durant, the team the Bluejays would face if they are successful in their appeal, on Saturday morning. Watkins said his team will practice Monday and Tuesday like they have a game on Friday.
Even if the board doesn’t rule in Guthrie’s favor on Wednesday, that isn’t necessarily the end of the road. Guthrie could file for an injunction to stop the Class 5A playoffs before they begin.
Watkins indicated that could be a possibility.
“We’ll go down and have our appeals, and we’ll see how it goes,” he said. “And if we have to go further, we’re gonna go further.”Jason Kersey
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