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Martinsburg stripped of first two wins

September 07, 2007|By MARK KELLER

The West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission has stripped Martinsburg High School of its first two varsity football victories this season for use of an ineligible player.

The forfeits leave the Bulldogs, ranked second in Class AAA in the Charleston Daily Mail poll this week, with an 0-2 record despite convincing wins over Morgantown and Potomac Falls (Va.) in the first two weeks of the season.

According to a press release from Berkeley County Schools, Martinsburg administrators recently became aware that an academically ineligible player took part in the Bulldogs' first two games. The school administration reported the violation to the WVSSAC when it was discovered.

The executive director of the WVSSAC ruled a forfeiture of Martinsburg's first two games as a result of the violation. Martinsburg administrators appealed the ruling Thursday in a hearing before the WVSSAC Board of Directors in Parkersburg, but the penalty was upheld.

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Martinsburg's administration will consider appealing the decision to the WVSSAC Board of Review in the next few weeks, according to the release.

Martinsburg principal Ken Pack, head coach David Walker and athletic director Greg Reed did not return phone calls Thursday seeking comment.

This is not the first time an Eastern Panhandle football team has been stripped of victories. Berkeley Springs had its first three victories of the 2001 season reversed and Jefferson had two wins taken away in 2003. Both penalties were for using ineligible players.

The penalty also puts Martinsburg in a position it has not been in for some time. The last time the Bulldogs had two losses in a regular season was 2000. The last time they started a year 0-2 was 1997, Walker's first year as the team's head coach.

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