David Hand, Prep Charter's first-year football coach, just kept telling his team to have hope.
Look at the facts and the evidence, he told them. And have hope that the postseason ban would be overturned.
On Wednesday, Hand's hope produced some positive results as the PIAA overturned a District 12-imposed postseason-ban on all sports, except girls' basketball.
In July, District 12 banned all Huskies sports teams from this season's playoffs after a third girls' basketball player was found to live outside the city. The girls' team remains banned for the next two postseasons, but all other teams are eligible to play.
Hand said his the team's senior leaders (Curan Simmons, Tommy Nguyen, Tim Scott, John Graham and Eric Taylor) kept the Huskies together when it looked like they would be banned from the playoffs.
"They saw this season as their last shot," Hand said. "So they really rallied everyone together."
Star wide receiver John Graham broke his ankle two weeks ago and should be back by the end of October, which happens to be around the start of the postseason. He has interest from Pittsburgh, Old Dominion, Massachusetts, Penn, Monmouth and Lehigh.
"He's a special talent," said Hand. "He worked so hard in the off season and it was such a shame for that to happen. But, now he has some extra motivation to come back."