Miami-Dade High Schools

Hialeah Champagnat booted from state football playoffs

Champagnat coaches and players hold the championship trophy after beating Victory Christian to win the FHSAA Football Class 2A Finals in Orlando on Dec. 6, 2013.
Champagnat coaches and players hold the championship trophy after beating Victory Christian to win the FHSAA Football Class 2A Finals in Orlando on Dec. 6, 2013. Special to the Herald

Miramar isn’t the only South Florida high school football powerhouse that isn’t being allowed to participate in the playoffs this year.

Hialeah Champagnat Catholic, the reigning Class 2A state champion, has been told by the Florida High School Athletic Association it must vacate the playoff bracket after it violated one of its bylaws when it walked off the field and forfeited midway through last week’s regular-season game at Bradenton IMG Academy.

“As of yesterday, the FHSAA told us we would not be able to participate in the state series,” Champagnat athletic director Isabel Alonso told The Miami Herald on Friday.

The FHSAA bylaw, 4.7.1.1.4 states:

“Each contracted regular season game shall be played as scheduled unless it is canceled due to inclement weather [Policy 32]. A school that fails to play a contracted game as scheduled shall forfeit the game and shall become ineligible to participate in the Florida High School State Championships that season or a future season. Should this occur, all district games played by the school shall be considered nondistrict games, shall not count in the district standings, and shall be removed from the football district for the remainder of the classification cycle.”

Alonso said the school was given the option to appeal the ruling and said she and the school’s leadership are weighing their options as of Thursday morning.

According to local reports of the game, the Lions (6-4) were trailing IMG Academy in last week’s nondistrict contest 48-8 with six minutes remaining in the second quarter when they chose to stop playing and exited the field.

The victory was awarded to IMG via forfeit.

The Lions were set to play Jupiter Christian Friday in a Region 4-2A semifinal at Betty Ferguson Park at 7 p.m. If the ruling stands, Jupiter Christian would receive a bye to the next round.

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