NRHS boys forfeit two games

Published 9:54pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Nansemond River boys’ basketball team has officially forfeited the first two games of the 2012-13 season after an internal investigation concluded that a player on the floor was ineligible.

Lakeland transfer William Goodman was held out of the third game of the season, but shortly thereafter he was cleared to return. During the investigation, neither he nor the NR coaching staff was found to be at fault, officials said.

Nansemond River Principal Thomas McLemore would not tell head coach Ed Young what caused Goodman’s ineligibility, and he declined to say how the school learned of the issue.

McLemore referred to two players when asked about the forfeiture, though he would not name either player.

“I was notified that two of our kids may be ineligible, and when I did the investigation, I found that, in fact, they were ineligible,” he said. “I then contacted the two schools that we had played and notified them we would have to forfeit the games that we played against them and notified our district.”

Only Goodman was required to sit out game three of the season.

McLemore said there would be no appeal.

Warriors head coach Ed Young had been strongly in favor of pursuing an appeal, but he had begun moving on when he talked about the confusing situation that has removed his team from sole possession of second place in the district.

“I’m frustrated about it, and I’ve got to redirect my energies toward what we control, and that’s the games coming, and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate. (But) we all feel good that it was nothing we did, per se, as coaching staff and player.”

Nansemond River goes from 15-2 overall and 12-1 in the district to 13-4 and 10-3, respectively. The district opponents that the Warriors had defeated in the first two games of the season, Grassfield and King’s Fork, will have their records adjusted accordingly.

The change now puts NR in a tie with KF for second place and makes the Warriors’ chances of winning the district highly unlikely, as Great Bridge is undefeated and faces only two more teams above .500.

Lakeland was also adversely affected by the change. The Cavaliers hold a 4-9 district record and got their last district win against Grassfield, whose adjusted record becomes 4-9. Both teams are now vying for sixth place in the district.

“Right now, mathematically we are not in the playoffs,” Cavaliers head coach Clint Wright said.

“So, our work is cut out for us the next five games, and we’re hopeful that this generates a focused approach, and it generates a complete game to be played with a sense of urgency,” he said.

Wright also gave his take on NR’s situation.

“To me, an ineligible player means you’re basically done for the year, you can no longer play,” he said.

“It seems like it was more of a paperwork glitch, maybe something wasn’t submitted properly and that was turned in and then the kid was reinstated,” he said. “So, it’s unfortunate that Nansemond has to get those two losses.”

Ed Young’s 400th career win came against Wright’s Cavaliers last Thursday. He responded to the perspective that he is back at 399, including last Friday’s win against Deep Creek.

“You can look at that any way you want,” he said. “I choose to leave it as is. We earned that win the other day, 400. Somebody’s making a banner for me with “400 wins,” and they put the date and the score. I’m not changing that.”

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