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Football: South Forsyth forfeits win due to ineligible player
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South Forsyth senior Jaylen Pearson runs for a gain against Milton on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. /// Photo by Paul Ward

The South Forsyth football team’s 56-10 victory against Pinecrest Academy on Aug. 25 was arguably their most comfortable of the season. Most of the War Eagles’ starters came out of the game after the first quarter. Starting quarterback Cal Morris didn’t even play.

But the game no longer counts as a win for South.

The War Eagles have been forced to forfeit the win against their Peachtree Parkway neighbor after the school self-reported the use of an academically ineligible player in a letter to the Georgia High School Association on Tuesday, according to Steve Figueroa, the GHSA’s Director of Media Relations. South will also be fined an undisclosed amount.

South athletic director Keith Gravitt said it was an “unfortunate processing error that resulted in … a tough situation for our football team.

“After speaking with all the parties involved, and after a great deal of obviously conversation, study and deliberation among myself and those parties, we felt the most appropriate and right thing to do was make a call (to the GHSA) about what had happened.”

The War Eagles drop to 6-1 overall, but otherwise the forfeit has no immediate impact on the team’s potential to win a region championship and earn a No. 1 seed in the state playoffs. Pinecrest was a non-region opponent, and so the War Eagles remain 2-0 in Region 5-7A going into Friday’s crucial game against the region’s only other unbeaten in rival North Forsyth (5-2, 2-0).

“Of course, myself and the administration and coaches are disappointed and hurt for what’s occurred,” Gravitt said. “We feel our primary concern is about the young man who it affected on our football team.

“But we’ve still got the same goals – the team does – that they had at the beginning of the season.”

Also on Wednesday morning, the War Eagles moved up one spot in the Georgia Sports Writers Association high school football poll to No. 4 in Class 7A coming off their 21-13 victory at Milton this past Friday.