Controversy Continues: State 3A Semi-Final Game Put On Hold
LOCUST GROVE, Oklahoma - The team that played Locust Grove last week is suing over an official's enforcement of a call that might have cost them the game. Now the next round of the playoffs is on hold.
The Locust Grove Pirates were fired up, at Thursday's practice; they were getting ready for what they thought was going to be a semi-final football game Friday night in Sapulpa.
However, they got word of a delay that came from an Oklahoma City Courtroom, and now Locust Grove coach, Matt Hennesy and his team have to wait for a judge's decision to see the next round of the playoffs.
12/4/2014 Related Story: Judge Grants Restraining Order Preventing Locust Grove From Advancing In Playoffs
He said Thursday was the best practice the team has had all year and now he's going to use the extra couple of days to heal up and get ready - possibly for another game,
While the Pirates practiced, lawyers argued in front of a judge to decide whether Locust Grove could play in Friday's semi-finals.
Oklahoma City Public Schools went to court suing the OSSAA, challenging a referee's penalty from last week's quarter-final that Douglass High School said cost it the game.
Douglass scored a touchdown late in the game that was later taken off the scoreboard because of the penalty.
Locust Grove won the game and advanced to the next round; but the judge ruled in favor of Douglass, putting in place a temporary restraining order.
"It's just disappointing that Oklahoma City Public Schools will waste taxpayer's money on this instead of just saying ‘hey we lost' and except the rules. It's disappointing that our district has to spend money, I feel bad that our district has to go spend money to defend our kids, but our district will," Hennesy said.
Friday night his team was supposed to play Heritage Hall, but that's now on hold.
"The OSSAA said it, the OSSAA board said it, everybody is saying it except Douglass," Hennesy said.
Oklahoma Public Schools lawyers hope to get the situation resolved quickly.
"We've got over one hurdle. We still have a long way to go. It is a big deal. It does affect other players and other teams, however, we believe that our argument about it harming Douglass in a way that cannot be remedied if a game went forward was strong, and the judge agreed with it," said OKCPS General Council, Brandon Carey.
Locust Grove attorney, Cheryl Dixon said, “We're of course disappointed that the boys will not be allowed to play tomorrow evening, but the judge is fair, he's being very thoughtful, and we'll see how he rules on Thursday.”
Locust Grove will just have to wait.
OSSAA Attorney, Mark Grossman said, “Disappointed that the playoffs will be further delayed, in part, we obviously feel the disappointment and the pain for the kids in the school communities at Heritage Hall and Locust Grove.”
"I think people need to move on if it's a mistake by the ref then it's a mistake by the ref there's mistakes in life all the time you don't get no do overs what is done is done," Dustin Conley said.
The Oklahoma City judge will have his injunction hearing next week, meanwhile, the Locust Grove football team will meet Friday morning for the weekly breakfast that they usually have before a football game.