The LHSAA has ruled against Parkway at a player eligibility hearing today in Baton Rouge.
The freshman player, who lived in Shreveport last school year and went to Walnut Hill Middle School, was declared ineligible. Under LHSAA rules, Parkway must forfeit any games in which the player participated.
Parkway will appeal the decision. “We lost. For now,” Parkway coach David Feaster said in a text message.
According to Feaster, the freshman player had applied to Southwood’s magnet program last year but his father decided to move to South Bossier at some point last spring.
He was ruled ineligible, according to Feaster, under the LHSAA’s “bona-fide change of residence” rule. The LHSAA ruled that the player’s father had residences in Shreveport and Bossier City.
The “bona-fide change of residence rule” states in part that “under no circumstances can have a family have two legal residents for eligibility purposes … The original residence shall be abandoned as a residence. It should be sold, in the process of being sold, rented or disposed of as a residence.”
Parkway officials dispute the assertion that the father has a dual residency. Feaster says they have pay stubs and other proof that the father established residency in Bossier Parish.
According to Feaster, in the course of the investigation the LHSAA discovered the player’s father “never changed his driver’s license. He never changed his driver’s license with the post office. And we’re saying, they still own this place over there in South Bossier …
“The LHSAA does not like to make rulings they did today. I guarantee you. They don’t like to punish a whole town because somebody didn’t change their driver’s license address, especially when he’s a freshman who’s not here to play he just gets put in the game so we don’t run up the score on people. The LHSAA does not like to make rules like that.”
The player in question played in five wins, Feaster said. He played late in games when Parkway was trying to avoid running up the score.
Under a recently enacted LHSAA rule, any team that forfeits at least a third of their games is ineligible for the playoffs.
Parkway was told of the ruling earlier today. The school will get to present its case on appeal to a six-member group of the LHSAA’s Executive Committee next Wednesday.
Parkway is 6-2 and 2-1 in District 1-5A. The Panthers host undefeated Haughton (8-0, 2-0) Thursday night at Preston Crownover Stadium.
Note: This story contains a correction from an earlier version. The student in question was not actually a Southwood transfer. He’s been at Parkway since the beginning of the year.