Four-time defending state football champion Trinity Christian must forfeit its football victory over Bolles for using an ineligible player the Florida High School Athletic Association said on Friday.
The Conquerors allowed a player to compete in the 40-28 victory over the Bulldogs who was not eligible, according to a complaint filed on Sept. 21. Trinity is planning to appeal the forfeit on Tuesday in Tallahassee, the FHSAA said.
Trinity coach Verlon Dorminey referred questions to principal Dan Worley. When reached on Friday, Worley said that he was not permitted to discuss the incident. The Conquerors were playing at Tallahassee Lincoln on Friday night.
The player, Jonathan Ealey, practiced with Atlantic Coast to begin the season and actually appeared on the sidelines in the Stingrays’ Week 1 game against Mandarin, according to a complaint filed with the FHSAA nearly a week after Bolles and Trinity faced off for the first time in 17 years. If upheld on appeal, the forfeit puts a significant dent in Trinity’s bid to win the District 4-5A title, barring a chain of upsets down the stretch.
The complaint “stated that the student is not registered with Duval County as a Home Education student and is not registered with any virtual school program, essentially not attending school anywhere.”