A North Carolina high school football program was awakened from dreamland Wednesday when it was informed that the best season in school history is now finishing before the start of the playoffs.
Holly Springs (N.C.) High School finished the 2019 regular season with a 10-1 record, 5-1 in the competitive South Wake Athletic Conference. Now two of those contests have been ruled forfeits because of the use of an ineligible player, per North Carolina prep sports site HighSchoolOT.com.
The NCHSAA decided that Holly Springs will have to forfeit two games in which the ineligible player played, pay a $250 fine, and relinquish its spot in the 4AA state playoffs.
Slated as the No. 3 seed in the 4AA state playoffs, Holly Springs was to rest this weekend on one of the playoffs’ first round byes. Instead, the team will sit home and watch opposing teams compete, particularly No. 6 seed Garner and No. 11 seed, who are suddenly playing not only to win a tournament game, but also to earn a bye straight through to the third round, with the second round now passed over with Holly Springs’ withdrawal.
Here’s more specifics on Holly Spring’s heartbreaking forfeits, as outlined by HighSchoolOT.com:
Holly Springs will forfeit its Week 11 and Week 12 wins against Apex and Hillside. The forfeits will drop Holly Springs’ record to 8-3 overall and 4-2 in conference play, meaning the Golden Hawks will finish second in the SWAC, bumping Garner up to the first place spot.
More importantly, Holly Springs is missing out, thanks to one player and two weeks that now stand as the pair that kept Holly Springs from from playoffs and the potential for ultimate high school glory.