Posted: 3:35 pm Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Boys Soccer: Lake Worth forced to forfeit 18 matches 

By Anthony Chiang

After building an 18-4 record, Lake Worth’s boys soccer team has learned that it won’t be playing in the postseason.

The Trojans must forfeit 18 matches from the 2013-2014 season and pay a $1,300 fine to the Florida High School Athletic Association after the school self-reported a violation of the state’s player-eligibility policy. Lake Worth played with two ineligible players over the age of 19 years and nine months, which is the oldest a student can be to participate at the high school level according to the FHSAA.

In addition to the penalties handed down by the FHSAA, the school has also decided to relieve Lake Worth boys soccer coach Aundrey Johnson and his staff of their duties.

“Our principal is really strict about being fair and doing the right thing,” Trojans athletics director Jessie Hester said. “At this point, any time kids are affected in this way, we feel like something needs to be done.”

Due to the 18 matches the Trojans are forced to forfeit, they do not qualify for next week’s District 14-4A tournament, which will feature eight of the district’s nine teams.

Although, Lake Worth self-reported the violation, they school was still penalized because it is expected to review the eligibility of each student-athlete prior to participation. But the fact that the violation was self-reported was taken into consideration, according to a letter sent from the FHSAA to the school.

Along with forfeiting 18 matches and having to pay a fine, Lake Worth received an official reprimand and was placed on Administrative Probation until Feb. 16, 2015. Also, the Trojans will not be allowed to participate in a boys soccer preseason tournament in 2014.

“It’s devastating to a lot of the kids because the kids realized that they had a fantastic chance of going far in the playoffs,” Hester said.