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Gwynn Park Loses Six Wins to Forfeit

By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Gwynn Park football team has forfeited its six victories this season for using two ineligible players, according to Ned Sparks, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.

Gwynn Park Coach Danny Hayes said last night that he had no knowledge about forfeits but confirmed he was told to sit out two players today against Douglass. Sparks said he was told about the forfeits by Prince George's County supervisor of athletics Earl Hawkins. Hawkins could not be reached to comment last night.

Gwynn Park (0-9) is the sixth Prince George's team to forfeit games this season after being found to have ineligible players. Friendly and C.H. Flowers would have been playoff-bound if not for the forfeits, and Eleanor Roosevelt's chances to qualify for the playoffs were severely hampered. Gwynn Park had an outside chance to make the Maryland 2A South Region playoffs before the forfeits.

"There's been more [forfeits] this year than in all of the years of the tournament put together," Sparks said, noting the MPSSAA began conducting state football tournaments in 1974. "We've had one or two a year, but this is an epidemic."

The forfeits are expected to have a significant effect on the postseason as several teams angle for playoff berths in the final regular season weekend.

"I was going to collect equipment tomorrow," said Forestville Coach Charles Harley, whose team would have been eliminated from playoff contention last night but now can qualify for the Maryland 1A South Region playoffs if it beats Fairmont Heights today. "Now I might have to make provisions to practice under the lights somewhere next week."

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