I really don't know how many Wisconsin high school athletic directors spend much time checking the age of their players, but if they didn't do it before, the ones that care at all, will make a point of it now.
Top ranked Ashwaubenon in division 2, was ordered to forfeit its first four wins of the season because they had a player on the team that turned 19 before a summer deadline. That player is a starter on the teams defense. After the discrepancy was discovered, paperwork was filed and 19 year old Rex Manibog was ruled eligible for game 5 and the remainder of the season.
What that means is Ashwaubenon is now 1-4 instead of 5-0 and the Jaguars must win their 3-remaining conference games to have a shot at the playoffs. That will likely happen by the way.
Some are saying it was an honest mistake, while others are calling for the job of the school's athletic director, Dave Steavpack. I think that might be a tad harsh, but it does make one wonder. What does an athletic director supposed to be doing. Especially in this case. While Ashwaubenon has an excellent sports program across the board, both boys and girls, they're known around the state mostly because of its football program and outstanding head coach Ken Galomski. Of all the sports that you wouldn't think you'd take a nap on.
Whoever is responsible for catching this error after four games, they should be considered a savior in Ashwaubenon. Because the football team will rebound, make the playoffs and still make a run at another State Championship, which would be their 5th in about a decade. Had this error been caught just one game later, the mighty Jaguars would have been on the outside looking in.
What's the lesson here. It's to all the athletic directors at all of the schools around the state, who probably have allowed this procedure to slip by undone but no harm has come because they didn't have a player that fits the bill. Let it be a lesson though. The Ashwaubenon A.D. may be taking some heat in that Green Bay area school, but he is a subtle reminder to all of you to make sure this embarrassment doesn't take place at your school.
For the record, Dave Steavpack is a good guy and I hope this storm blows over without any ramifications. I think this could have happened to anybody and we should chalk it up as a lesson learned.