FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) — One of the top girls softball teams in the state has forfeited a recent game and heads into the state playoffs with all three coaches suspended from the team after an infraction last weekend.
No. 2-ranked Fossil Ridge High School played an ineligible player in last Saturday’s contest with Mountain Range High School.
Fossil Ridge Athletic Director Brandon Carlucci told the Fort Collins Coloradoan on Thursday that the team’s coaches noticed the substitution mistake several innings after it occurred and did not immediately inform the umpire crew. Instead, they covered it up by having the ineligible player switch jerseys with an eligible player in the dugout.
“It was an obvious lack of judgment at a crucial time,” Carlucci told the Coloradoan. “When we were notified about the situation by our coaches, we acted quickly on it. There is no excuse for this to happen, but we believe the situation happened honestly, with no premeditation, and in a chaotic situation. But ultimately the responsibility for this rests with our coaching staff. … The girls didn’t have anything to do with it.”
As Mountain Range played Thursday afternoon in Westminster, one parent spoke to CBS4’s Karen Morfitt.
You kind of trust the coach and the parents to do what’s right for the kids,” he said. “It ruins the integrity of the game.”
The Fossil Ridge coaches eventually reported the mistake to Carlucci, although not until Fossil Ridge had played and defeated top-ranked Loveland two days after the Mountain Range contest.
School officials self-reported the incident to the Colorado High School Activities Association on Wednesday.
After initially restricting the team from playing in the state playoffs, CHSAA approved the school’s request to be temporarily removed from the restriction list. The Class 5A playoff brackets have not yet been released.
Fossil Ridge reached the state championship game last year.