GUTHRIE — Senior Nights are always emotional.
But Senior Night at Jelsma Stadium on Friday was especially difficult for Guthrie's seniors, who might have played their final game in a 48-0 rout of Southeast.
All the seniors from Class 5A's No. 1-ranked team lined up before the game to be introduced with their parents.
One stood out, though. He wasn't wearing an all-black uniform like the rest of the Bluejay seniors in line.
Clint Simek wore his jersey and jeans as he walked across the field with his parents, Tony and Sherrie. And he stood out in another way, too: His cheer from the Jelsma Stadium crowd was just a little louder.
Simek, who moved to Guthrie from Prague in February, was ruled ineligible by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association on Thursday, forcing Guthrie to forfeit eight of its nine wins this season.
Pending an appeal Wednesday before the OSSAA's board of directors, the Bluejays will miss the Class 5A playoffs.
“It has been heart-wrenching for them, for a 10-0 season to be taken away from them,” Sherrie Simek, a teacher at Guthrie High School, said of the Bluejays players.
Clint Simek, a receiver and safety, sat out his second straight game because of the eligibility question. He stood on the sideline among his teammates in a gray Guthrie football hoodie.
The OSSAA received an anonymous letter on Oct. 19 that sparked the investigation into Simek's family, which owns a home in Guthrie but has another family member living in the previous home, which is for sale and has been for several months.
The Simeks moved from Prague to Guthrie in February.
Tony Simek owns an auto supply store in Prague and has continued working there since the move to Guthrie, according to a source familiar with the situation.
The ruling was made because of a dual residency issue, which would be in violation of OSSAA Rule 8-2b(5). The rule addresses the criteria for a bona fide move and ends with: “A student whose family maintains multiple residences in circumvention of the requirements of this Rule shall not be eligible at any new school.”
“This is a bona fide move,” Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins said. “They've been here since February.”
The Simeks declined to talk too much about the appeal, but they did talk about how they have seen the team and community rally around their family.
“These boys have rallied around Clint, and the other families have rallied around all of us,” Sherrie Simek said.
The OSSAA's ruling is just the latest chapter in what has been a hard high school football career for Clint Simek.
He started at Prague as a freshman but tore his ACL three games into the season.
He played his entire sophomore year, but tore his other ACL during the summer before his junior season.
And now this.
“He's already gone through so much adversity, and it's hard to think somebody could do something like that,” Sherrie Simek said of the anonymous letter.