Beachwood's and Cleveland Heights' varsity football teams will not play in the state playoffs this weekend after a Cuyahoga County judge vacated his own ruling this afternoon.
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the Ohio High School Athletic Association this week, challenging a JFK forfeit to John Adams that was not observed in the final rankings.
The OHSAA denied the Tigers’ initial appeal to them.
Judge Richard McMonagle granted CH-UH the restraining order against the OHSAA, prohibiting the OSHAA from enforcing its decision discount the forfeit.
Once the OHSAA was forced to count the forfeiture, it trickled through the rankings in Divisions I and IV, bumping Mayfield High School and Ashtabula Edgewood High School from their 8th place spots and bumping CH-UH and Beachwood, respectively, ahead of the two schools.
But at around 2 p.m., McMonagle reversed his decision. Now Ashtabula Edgewood plays Brookfield tonight and Mayfield will play St. Edward tomorrow.
"Our position has been that we respected the OHSAA's administration of the playoff system," said Beachwood City Schools spokesperson Doug Levin. "Though we're dissappointed for our kids, we're abiding by their ruling."
CH-UH Superintendent Doug Heuer said he was "disappointed" over the court's decision in a media release.
"We are very proud of our student-athletes and how they have represented Cleveland Heights High School over the course of this season. We are disappointed by the court’s decision to rescind its earlier ruling. We took this matter to court because it was the right thing to do for our kids. We acted in accordance with our understanding of the rules governing the OHSAA. We wish all of the teams who have been permitted to participate in the tournament the best of luck and well wishes," Heuer said.
Teams were in limbo this week, practicing for teams they weren't sure they would play this weekend.
"It was chaotic," said OHSAA spokesperson Tim Stried, "but we're glad the brackets are back to where they were."
OHSAA Commissioner Dan Ross sent a statement later Friday afternoon: “We are very pleased with the judge’s decision to vacate his initial ruling. We are excited that the football playoffs can go on as planned. We need to constantly work with our member schools since sometimes their interpretations of our regulations are not consistent with ours, so this continues to be an educational piece. I want to thank all the schools involved for their patience this week.”