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High school softball: Sequoyah-Tahlequah slowpitch title in jeopardy

OSSAA will decide if school needs to forfeit championship due to ineligible player.
by Ryan Aber and Scott Wright Published: September 5, 2012

Sequoyah-Tahlequah's Class 5A slowpitch softball state championship from last spring could potentially be in jeopardy after a decision by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors at its monthly meeting Wednesday.

The board voted to deny the retroactive eligibility hardship appeal of Sequoyah-Tahlequah softball player Kelsey Leach.

Now a junior, Leach has played the last two years for Sequoyah-Tahlequah, but the school never filed hardship eligibility paperwork with the OSSAA after Leach transferred in from the Cave Springs school district. Leach never attended Cave Springs, but came from Rocky Mountain Schools, a dependent K-8 district. Her family resides in the Cave Springs district boundaries.

The OSSAA board ruled that Leach's request did not meet the requirements necessary to receive a hardship waiver, essentially making her an ineligible player for the last two years.

Now, the OSSAA staff members will examine her participation over those two years to rule on any potential game forfeits the team could face, including last spring's Class 5A state tournament.

The staff will also determine how many games Leach must sit out this season, based on her past participation. Typically, the OSSAA rule calls for a participating ineligible player to sit out as many games as he or she played in while ineligible, but OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley said the staff would not penalize an athlete beyond one full school year.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Scott Wright
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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