Several area high-school football players, including eight from No. 1-ranked Antelope Valley High, were declared academically ineligible for the playoffs Monday, when mid-term grade reports were released. Hardest hit was Antelope Valley, which is No. 1 in The Times Valley poll and the top-seeded team in the Southern Section Division II playoffs.
The Antelopes will have to defend their 1994 Division II championship without senior fullback Justin Reinier and senior receiver Trymon Redick, both of whom could have been major-college prospects, according to Coach Brent Newcomb.
"Both had Division I talent, but they were always marginal students," Newcomb said. "I guess they felt like it wouldn't happen. It happened."
Antelope Valley also lost Ron Davis, a lineman who played offense and defense and was the only other starter among the eight.
Also ineligible are defensive tackle Art Turner of Quartz Hill and all-purpose back Ahjeron Palmer and receiver Bret Lamprey of Canyon, who were also members of playoff teams. Palmer had been the focal point of the Cowboy offense through much of the season, but Coach Larry Mohr said the team has adjusted quickly and had its best practice of the season Monday.
Palmer had 193 yards passing, 272 rushing, 181 receiving and scored eight touchdowns.
To offset his losses, Newcomb said he will added 18 junior varsity players to a roster that currently totals 29. Some of them will play in Antelope Valley's playoff opener at home Friday against Pasadena.
Reinier, who had a one-yard run and an eight-yard reception for touchdowns last week against Quartz Hill, might not even be in the stands.
His mother today will enroll him at Yucca Valley High near Palm Springs, where he will live with his father.
"We had to take him away from his friends so he can concentrate on his school," said Debbie Reinier, Justin's mother and a teacher.
Reinier was Antelope Valley's third-leading rusher, with 410 yards and six touchdowns in 43 carries.
He also had six receptions for 144 yards and three scores and was one of the team's best defensive players at linebacker.
"I'm real upset," Reinier said. "I was looking forward to another ring."
Redick, after playing quarterback last year, was made into an all-purpose back this season.
Redick rushed for 164 yards and five touchdowns in 19 carries and had 11 receptions for 234 yards and three scores. He had a 73-yard reception for a touchdown last week against Quartz Hill.
The Moorpark College men's soccer team forfeited six victories and four ties Monday for using an ineligible player.
The Raiders, previously 7-4-5 and 5-2-2 in Western State Conference play, dropped to 1-14-1 and 1-8 after it was discovered that forward Jamie Surace violated conference rules by playing in an under-19 club match last weekend for the Moorpark Express.
The Raiders were in position to clinch the conference's second and final playoff berth before the forfeits.
Contributing: Dana Haddad, Tris Wykes.