Toppenish soccer disqualified from state due to 20-year-old player

Toppenish soccer disqualified from state due to 20-year-old player

TOPPENISH, Wash. - The Toppenish High School boys soccer team has been disqualified from the state tournament after the WIAA ruled a player was too old to be on the team.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) announced Friday the team is not eligible for the Boys Soccer State Tournament due to the fact that a member of the team exceeded the age limit at 20 years old.

Toppenish Athletic Director Brett Stauffer said the player's family was unaware they were breaking any rules.

The student had immigrated at age 16, and could not speak English at the time. The school stated he was then enrolled at Toppenish High School as a freshman at 16 years of age.

The student missed the WIAA age requirement by three months and the school felt due to the student's situation the WIAA could provide an exception to this age requirement.

The WIAA dismissed the school's appeal and disqualified the team.

Action News is omitting the team player's name from this story because school leaders say the student and his family are not at fault.

The WIAA released this statement regarding the decision to disqualify the team.

In an emergency meeting on Friday, May 18, the WIAA Executive Board found that a member of the Toppenish High School boys soccer team was in violation of WIAA bylaw 18.4.0 regarding the age limitations for student eligibility. As a result of this finding, Toppenish HS has been deemed ineligible for the WIAA Boys Soccer State Tournament.

Following the action taken by Toppenish High School administrators to declare an ineligible student-participant, exhaustive measures were taken within the WIAA process to determine the eligibility of the student. Through this process, the student was deemed ineligible.

Toppenish has forfeited its win in the opening round of the State Tournament against Sequim High School, and Sequim will now face Burlington-Edison High School in the quarterfinal round.

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