Superintendent’s final appeal dismissed in Spanish Fort Girls Soccer case
A final appeal to the District Council on behalf of the Spanish Fort women’s soccer team was rejected on Friday.
Toro’s men’s and women’s teams will miss the Class 6A playoffs.
Baldwin County Communications Project Manager Chasity Riddick confirmed news of the denial to AL.com.
In a letter to Spanish Fort parents on Thursday, Baldwin County Superintendent Eddie Tyler said he had rehired an attorney to appeal the girls’ case to First District Council after he said he had appealed Wednesday to the executive director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, Alvin Briggs.
“I don’t know what their decision will be, but I will continue to push to do what’s right for our students,” Tyler wrote. “As a former coach and parent, I am heartbroken by AHSAA’s decision.”
In a letter to Spanish Fort Superintendent Shannon Smith obtained by AL.com, First District President Chip Menton said the board voted to uphold Briggs’ decision regarding three Spanish students. Fort High School. Menton thanked Spanish Fort for the “professional manner” in which the appeal was handled and reminded the school that it could appeal to the Central Board.
Tyler has not released a statement since the denial.
The Class 6A boys’ playoffs began Thursday night without Spanish Fort. The 6A girls playoffs began tonight with the two Zone 2 representatives (Gulf Shores and Baldwin County). The Tigers traveled to McGill-Toolen at 5 a.m. St. Paul’s hosted Gulf Shores at 5:30 p.m.
Both Spanish Fort teams have self-reported an eligibility issue involving members of the same family.
Mobile attorney David Allen filed a lawsuit against Briggs on Sunday in the boys’ case. The lawsuit, on behalf of parent Kerry DeFelippo and not on behalf of Spanish Fort High School, alleged that his son Anthony DeFelippo was declared ineligible this week after he was initially declared eligible by an AHSAA staff member via email. last month.
The suit sought a restraining order, restoring DeFelippo’s eligibility and allowing Spanish Fort to play in the playoffs. A Baldwin County judge granted that stay without a hearing Tuesday morning. However, in a letter from Tyler included in AHSAA’s response to the judge’s ruling, Tyler said the Spanish Fort boys would honor AHSAA’s findings and not play.
A court date in the DeFelippo case is scheduled for May 4, but that would obviously be after the first round is over.