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Portal seeding waiting for appeal
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            PORTAL – Due to an appeal on the eligibility of a Portal player, modifications have been made to the Region 3-A tournament schedule, set to begin today in Metter.

            The tournament was originally slated to host four first round games – two each for boys and girls – both today and Thursday. In order to accommodate the appeals process, all girls first round matchups will be played today, with all first round boys games playing out Thursday.

            Earlier this week, a Portal player was officially declared ineligible by the Georgia High School Association – a ruling that Portal administrators have chosen to appeal. Jimmy Parrish, principal of Portal Middle and High School, will travel to Thomaston – headquarters of the GHSA – this morning for a 10 a.m. appeals meeting that will conclude with a final verdict in the matter.

            “We’re going to go in front of the appeals committee and present our case,” said Parrish. “As it stands now, an issue of residence of one of our players has caused him to be declared immediately ineligible. The player and his parent will be present at the meeting to present information proving his residence in our district.”

            After the argument on the player’s behalf has been made, representatives for the GHSA will again provide the information collected that has led to the initial suspension of eligibility.

            Another issue at hand is the possible forfeiture of Portal victories in which the player in question has participated.

            “As of now, Portal has not forfeited any games,” said Parrish. “After the appeal, that decision will also be made, and there is a chance that we will not be asked to forfeit any wins even if the player is declared ineligible.”

            If forfeits are enforced, the boys bracket will have to be rearranged.

            Currently, Portal holds that No. 2 seed out of the East division and is scheduled to play Treutlen – No. 3 seed from the West division – at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. A forfeiture of wins would drop the Panthers to a No. 4 seed and a matchup with No. 1 seed Montgomery County Thursday at 4 p.m.

            Calvary Day and Savannah Country Day – Nos. 3 and 4 seeds out of the East, respectively – also stand to have their seeding and first round matchups affected by the final decision.

            The semifinal and final rounds of the tournament will go on as scheduled. All semifinals will be held Friday with the consolation and championship games taking place Saturday.


            Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.