Football boosters from Cypress High have filed a restraining order to get the Centurions into the Southern Section playoffs, booster club president Nick Eighmy said Wednesday.
Cypress had to forfeit two victories after one of their players was ruled ineligible. According to Eighmy, the suit claims that since the coaches and administration were unaware the player was ineligible, the entire team should not be punished.
Southern Section officials had no comment.
A hearing will be held today.
The Centurions finished third in the Empire League to qualify for the Southern Section Division V playoffs. It was to be their first playoff game since 1980. But league principals voted Friday to strip Cypress of victories against Katella and Loara, thereby putting Loara in the playoffs.
In 1989, Huntington Beach and Savanna filed restraining orders after ineligible players cost them playoff berths. Huntington Beach won a temporary restraining order, but that decision was unanimously overturned two days later by the 4th District Court of Appeal, which stated, "the rules are extremely clear as to what the consequences will be if an ineligible player is fielded."
The Cypress player in question was discovered to be too old to play high school athletics under Southern Section rules. According to Eighmy, school administrators learned last week that the student was born Dec. 28, 1975. Under section rules, "no student whose (19th) birthday is attained prior to September 1st shall participate or practice on any team."
The player was held out of the Centurions' 17-6 victory over Cypress Thursday.
Eighmy said the boosters do not dispute the athlete's age, only that school officials were unaware of the violation.