By News-Register staff • 

Dayton soccer forced to forfeit eight matches

The OSAA informed Dayton’s administration and team of its decision prior to last Thursday’s road contest at Yamhill-Carlton.

The Pirates’ initial eight matches of the season, in which an ineligible player competed for Dayton, were ruled forfeits by OSAA’s judicial committee.

Dayton athletic director Wade Witherspoon explained the timeline to the News-Register in an official statement.

-A boy migrated to the US last year and moved in with his step-sister in Salem

-He enrolled at McKay High School in the fall of 2018 – He took one class and passed it

-He should have been registered as a freshman because there were no records of him attending high school previously - McKay mistakenly registered him as a junior because of his age

-The boy came to Dayton because his step-sister moved here in the winter of 2019

-He passed enough classes in the spring 2018 at Dayton to be eligible to play in the fall, but because he was registered as a junior, he was considered “not on track to graduate”

-As soon as we discovered the situation we self-reported to the OSAA

-We contacted the Oregon Department of Education to begin the process of getting his cohort changed from graduating class of 2020 to graduating class of 2022, but this didn’t matter to the OSAA

Witherspoon noted widespread administration changes as the primary cause of the situation.

Over the summer, 19 teachers were hired alongside a new principal. Witherspoon joined Dayton with the soccer season in progress.

OSAA also cited a transfer infraction as well, because the athlete moved from Salem to Dayton without a parent.

“We applied for a hardship transfer to our league, which the league approved, but this didn’t seem to matter to the OSAA either,” said Witherspoon.

The forfeits knocked the Pirates from second place in the Class 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 to sixth, eliminating them from a league playoff appearance.

Head coach Jony Miramontes admitted an appeal likely won’t reverse the OSAA’s decision.

“At the end of the day, it affects the players the most,” he noted. “It hit us hard. We’ve been working as a team since May. Our guys are still in shock – it’s devastating.”


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