Judge: Goose Creek back in playoffs for now

November 16, 2012 

Bluffton High School is going to Goose Creek.

Defending state-champion Goose Creek High School, disqualified from the playoffs Tuesday for using an ineligible player, made its case in front of a judge Friday morning that it deserved to be reinstated to the state football playoffs.

And the judged agreed ... at least, for now.

Goose Creek had previously lost its appeal before the SCHSL on Wednesday night in Columbia.

Circuit Judge Roger Young announced his decision at around 12:30 p.m., saying Goose Creek could play Friday night but the S.C. High School League would convene before 5 p.m. Monday and revisit the Gators' fate. They could still be ruled ineligible.

Bluffton (11-2), which had been making preparations to host Conway, instead was scrambling to travel to Goose Creek (12-0) for their Class 4-A second-round playoff game at 7:30 tonight.

“I’ve never heard of this before,” Bluffton athletics director Dave Adams said. “I’ve heard of them overturning it, but never ‘just play and we’ll see on Monday.’”

Even if Bluffton loses Friday night, if Goose Creek is again declared ineligible on Monday, the Bobcats would play next Friday.

Adams says it’s too soon to worry about next week, especially when it’s Bluffton that has been the school treated unfairly this week.

“We’re the ones at an unfair disadvantage,” Adams said. “We’ve been forced to prepare for two teams all week long. I guess we’ll have to go Monday and practice — win, lose or draw — as if we’ll be playing next Friday night.”

Even with Bluffton scrambling to get on the road, moving the game back or to Saturday, apparently, was not an option.

Adams said, based on what Bluffton received from the SCHSL, that the “game was ordered by the judge to be played at Goose Creek on Friday.”

The same communication said the SCHSL executive committee would hold an “open session on Monday with additional evidence.”

Check back at www.islandpacket.com for updates. Follow the game tonight on Twitter at @IPBGsports.

The Charleston Post and Courier contributed to this report.

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