Bret Feldman is taking his fight to the top.
The Citrus standout, ruled ineligible two weeks ago for violating the state's residency rule, will appeal the decision to the FHSAA board of directors March 30 in Gainesville _ his final shot to regain eligibility. He lost his first appeal last week.
"I don't know what to think," Citrus athletic director Vicki Overman said. "This is totally unchartered water for us."
Feldman, an all-area player who went unbeaten in 2002, began the school year at Saddlebrook Prep then switched to Citrus in January, citing academics.
But FHSAA bylaws state that if a student changes schools in the current year and changes the person with whom they live, the athlete becomes ineligible the rest of the year. Feldman fit into that category because he boarded at Saddlebrook.
Feldman played three matches before being ruled ineligible. He had to forfeit two wins. If the board reverses the decision, Feldman would have four regular-season matches left and could play in the postseason.
"He's doing fine," Overman said. "But he's disappointed. It's tough every day."
_ KEITH NIEBUHR