Holy Spirit to forfeit first game

Holy Spirit, the No. 1 team in The Inquirer Top 10, will forfeit its 41-16 victory over Oakcrest last Friday because of the use of an ineligible player.

Holy Spirit athletic director Keith Gorman said the school "self-reported" the violation to the Cape-Atlantic Conference and the NJSIAA.

Gorman said the violation was the result of using a player who transferred to Holy Spirit this year and was academically ineligible at his previous school.

"We broke a rule unknowingly and self-reported," Gorman said. "We just felt like we needed to re-check this and discovered that he was ineligible."

Gorman said he expected Holy Spirit to be cleared to play the rest of the season without further punishment.

Under NJSIAA rules, a team must forfeit games in which it uses an ineligible player but receives no additional punishment.

Holy Spirit is now 0-1. Oakcrest is 1-0.

Holy Spirit won Friday night's game, 41-16.

"Thanks God we didn't discover this in Week 5 or we'd have major problems getting in the playoffs," Gorman said.

NJSIAA executive dircector Steve Timko declined to comment because a report has not yet reached him.

Timko confirmed discussions between NJSIAA associate director Jack DuBois, who handles football issues, and Holy Spirit.

Timko said forfeits are handled at the conference level and then forwarded to NJSIAA.

Holy Spirit won the Non-Public 3 state title last season. The Spartans are heavy favorites to win the NP-2 title this season.

Holy Spirit hosts Absegami Friday night.

-- Phil Anastasia