Prairie Seeds Academy disqualified from soccer championship - KMSP-TV

Prairie Seeds Academy disqualified from state soccer championship

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Officials have determined that Prairie Seeds Academy will not be competing in the state soccer tournament, but the brawl that broke out in their last game isn't what disqualified the team.

According to a press release, the Minnesota State High School League determined that the team used an "ineligible player" during the entire 2012 season. League officials say they learned about that player while investigating the on-field fight that broke out at the end of the Section 5A championship match against Totino-Grace High School.

Records show that the student involved attended a different school in the 2011-2012 school year and had transferred to Prairie Seeds Academy in the fall, but the student's online transfer form was never initiated by the school. That means the student was never eligible to participate in the varsity team.

In accordance with MSHSL Bylaw 304, the 2-1 game on Oct. 18 and all honors are therefore forfeited.

In spite of the video-taped brawl, Prairie Seeds Academy had been seeded No. 2 by the qualifying team coaches and Marshall School in Duluth. They had been randomly selected to play on Friday, but the Marshall School will instead advance to the semifinal at the Metrodome.

Officials say Totino-Grace will not replace Prairie Seeds Academy because the ineligible player's involvement creates uncertainty about which team may have advanced earlier on in the section tournament, but the league's disappointment over the conduct in the last game may have also played a role in the decision.

"The Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors and League staff are extremely disappointed by the action of individuals immediately following, and connected directly to, the Oct. 18, 2012, Section 5A Championship Soccer Game held at Maple Grove High School," said League Executive Director Dave Stead. "Such behavior is not condoned and should never be a part of any high school game or school activity."

On Monday, league staff and officials from both schools -- including coaches and administrators -- met to review and discuss the fist-fight that broke out near the Totino-Grace team bench. A frame-by-frame review of footage from Channel 12 found that players from both schools shared blame.

In the end, it was determined that five separate players either punched or kicked players or coaches from the opposing team, and five others were involved to a lesser degree. The five players who became violent will be ineligible to play for a minimum of four weeks, and the other five will be ineligible for one game.

Officials say the 10 players from both teams who were involved have also been suspended.

However, that may not be the end of the issue. The board of directors for the league plans to review the incident once their regular session resumes on Dec. 6, and they may request additional action.

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