Berkeley Prep senior forward T.J. Roehn could miss the postseason -- or at least a bulk of it -- after being leveled with a three-week suspension following the red card he received in Wednesday's home match against Lakeland George Jenkins.
Roehn said he's writing a letter of appeal this weekend to the Florida High School Athletic Association with the hopes his suspension will be reduced by a week. If the three-week penalty stands, he won't be allowed to return until the Class 3A region finals -- if the Bucs make it that far.
Roehn, by far the Bucs' scoring leader (26 goals, seven assists), said he was receiving verbal taunts the entire match from the Eagles players when things came to a head late in the first half after a Jenkins corner kick.
"A kid shoved me so I shoved him back," Roehn said. "The ref went up to the kid and asked him what was going on and he said, 'He punched me.'"
Roehn said he denied the opponent's allegation, albeit with an expletive. "I shouldn't have said it," he acknowledged. "It just kind of slipped out."
Berkeley opens play in the four-team 3A, District 10 tournament Wednesday as the No. 1 seed. If the Bucs defeat fourth-seeded Clearwater Central Catholic that night, and Roehn's suspension is reduced by a week, he'd be eligible to return in time for the region quarterfinals Feb. 4.
"It was unfortunate," he said, "but that's how it goes."