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Baseball: Sickles forfeits 14 games due to an ineligible player

The school found out about the player earlier in the week and self reported to the FHSAA

Sickles has forfeited the first 14 games of the season after it was discovered the team used an ineligible player. Head coach Eric Luksis was informed earlier in the week that one of his players might not be zoned for the school. After meeting with administration, the school self reported itself to the Florida High School Athletic Association and forfeited every game prior to Tuesday.

“I found out two days ago,’’ Luksis said. “I got a call from somebody in the community that somebody didn’t have proper information. I had to do some digging. I got the administration involved and we tried to get the whole story.

“It’s not who we are. We’re not trying to hide this. It’s just an unfortunate event.’’

The Gryphons won 12 of the 14 games they forfeited. They were 3-0 in the three-team Class 8A, District 5. Due to the forfeits, they will be the No. 3 seed in the district tournament instead of the top seed.

Luksis would not say who the ineligible player was, but he is not a player in the starting lineup.

On Tuesday, Sickles defeated Freedom 13-0 in its first game without the ineligible player. The Gryphons play at Plant tonight.

“The positive is that it was found out now and not five weeks from now or our season would be over,’’ Luksis said. “Now we can move on. We’ll take our 1-14 record and move on. The No. 1 seed in our district is huge and we’ve earned that right. But that was taken from us as well. We’ll just have to win a few more baseball games than we were expected to.

“I have full trust in my players. We’ll get through this together. If anything, we’re more motivated than ever. As bad a situation that it is, the boys have responded very well.’’

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