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updated: 11/23/2016 11:44 AM

Judge rejects Fenwick High School lawsuit over playoff game

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  • Fenwick High School's football team will not be able to compete for the Class 7A trophy this weekend. A Cook County judge rejected Fenwick's appeal over last week's game, and now Plainfield North will play East St. Louis for the IHSA Class 7A championship.

    Fenwick High School's football team will not be able to compete for the Class 7A trophy this weekend. A Cook County judge rejected Fenwick's appeal over last week's game, and now Plainfield North will play East St. Louis for the IHSA Class 7A championship.
    Associated Press/file

 
Associated Press

A Cook County judge has rejected Fenwick High School's attempt to reverse the result of last Saturday's Class 7A semifinal game against Plainfield North High School.

Fenwick High School in Oak Park filed a motion in Cook County court asking for an emergency order to overturn the results of Saturday's Class 7A semifinal against Plainfield North High School. Fenwick wanted the Illinois High School Association to award it the victory. That would send Fenwick to the state championship game Saturday against East St. Louis Senior High School.

IHSA executive director Craig Anderson said Saturday that the officiating crew mistakenly awarded Plainfield North an untimed down at the end of regulation. Plainfield tied the game and eventually won in overtime, 18-17.

Following the court ruling, IHSA officials released this statement:

"Today's decision by the Honorable Kathleen G. Kennedy in the Circuit Court of Chicago to uphold the result of the IHSA Class 7A Semifinal Football game is not a victory. There is no celebration and there are no winners in this circumstance. It is simply a resolution.

"The Fenwick High School community has been dealt a pair of devastating blows over the past few days, while Plainfield North had a historic moment shrouded in controversy simply for following the rules provided for them, first by the game officials, and then by the IHSA.

"We will move forward now, in the short-term with eight state championship football games at the University of Illinois this weekend. In the long-run, it is our job as an Association, Board of Directors and membership to look at our policies and rules to see if and how we might be able to prevent instances like this in the future.

"We appreciate Judge Kennedy's ruling from the perspective that we believe it is vital for membership organizations like the IHSA to be able to self-govern within the rules set by our member schools. Judge Kennedy recognized the historic precedent that would have resulted if she had overturned the outcome of the game based on an officiating error. This is the same pitfall our membership foresaw in originally approving the by-law, and that our Board of Directors recognized in their decision not to consider an appeal."

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