With the proverbial clock ticking down on tonight's section 4A girls hockey championship game, Achiever Academy has withdrawn its team citing eligibility violations in the program.
Earlier this week, the Minnesota State High School League requested the first year school complete an audit on the eligibility of the players after receiving an email citing several violations. The High School League posted this statement on their facebook page about the situation.
"At the request of the MSHSL, Achiever Academy has conducted a review of athletic eligibility determinations of students identified by the MSHSL for violating the Transfer Eligibility rules of the League. The new ownership of Achiever Academy has met with students and supported them and their families, and has simultaneously worked with the MSHSL to resolve their concerns. To that end, Achiever Academy has decided to withdraw its girls' hockey team from further participation in the 2013-2014 hockey season. The MSHSL appreciates the cooperative steps Achiever Academy has made and looks forward to future participation together as a member of the MSHSL."
Achiever, the top seed in the Section 4 tournament was scheduled to play St. Paul United tonight and with the forfeit, the United will make their first ever state tournament appearance.
This issue isn't the first for the High School League, who banned Prairie Seeds Academy from the 1A boys soccer tournament two years ago for competing with an ineligible player. In that situation, the forfeit happened after Prairie Seeds had won its section final game. Totino-Grace, who was their opponent in the section championship game was not advanced to the tournament despite the ruling.