Conway's football team had come to grips with its season being over. However, by Wednesday, the Tigers could be back in the Class AAAA football playoffs.
South Carolina High School League Associate Commissioner Dru Nix confirmed to The Sun News earlier news reports that Goose Creek had been disqualified for the use of an ineligible player. When asked about fact that two teams have now been kicked out of the playoffs and another school (Byrnes) was considered for punishment, Nix said: "As always, we educate. It’s up to the schools to follow the rules. They have to abide by them."
Goose Creek is now the second team this year to be disqualified from the state playoffs. Lower Richland was kicked out of the Class AAA playoffs last week. Perennial powerhouse Byrnes was also being discussed, although it was eventually discovered that it was a junior varsity player with no role in that school's varsity team.
Nix said the 18-member appeals committee would hear Goose Creek's appeal, but she was not sure when exactly that would take place.
"We don’t know yet," she said. "We’re trying to pull it together. It takes a while to get 18 people together."
Conway coach Chuck Jordan, who is the head of the Class AAAA football committee, will have no role in the appeals process, as is customary from the SCHSL.
If the appeal is denied, Conway would be re-inserted into the bracket and Jordan's team would head to Bluffton, the overall No. 9 seed for a second-round contest. That game would be played at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening.
Bluffton (11-1) defeated South Florence 37-13 last Thursday in the opening round. The Bobcats spent the majority of the year ranked in the top five of the statewide media poll before falling to Summerville in the regular-season finale.
The decision is a huge blow to Goose Creek. The Gators were ranked No. 1 in the state, as high as No. 11 in one of the national polls and had won 25 consecutive games. That stretch includes last year’s Class AAAA, Division II state championship win over Greenwood.Check back later for more details.