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FHSAA says Hawks, Lightsey can keep playing

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Fri. November 18, 2011 | Joey Knight | Email

Despite an ongoing FHSAA investigation that has threatened to de-rail its season, the Armwood Hawks have received confirmation they'll still be permitted to compete in the Class 6A playoffs.

Senior OL Jack Lightsey, a transfer student at the center of the investigation, also will play.

The FHSAA this morning released a letter from Denarvise Thornton -- the FHSAA's associate executive director for compliance and eligibility -- to Armwood principal Mike Ippolito stating that Armwood and the player at the center of the probe (whose name was redacted) may compete in their upcoming playoff games.

Meantime, coach Sean Callahan reiterated his stance that the program is innocent, noting his administration cleared Lightsey -- who transferred from Orlando Dr. Phillips in the offseason -- to play for Armwood twice before the 2011 regular season began.

But on the eve of a local TV report last week questioning the legality of Lightsey's move, Armwood's administration sought an eligibility ruling on Lightsey from the FHSAA. An investigation commenced on Wednesday.

"Armwood football has done absolutely nothing wrong," said Callahan, whose nationally ranked 10-0 team hosts Lakewood Ranch in a first-round contest tonight. "We have nothing to hide and will go out of our way to help the FHSAA secure all the facts."
 

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