By Jon Gremmels Herald Sports Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — Kurt Kreiter, activities director at Central DeWitt, expects the school’s football team will have to forfeit its two wins this season after realizing it used a player during too many quarters in games this fall.
“It’s unfortunate, but it’s better (finding out now) than in Week 8,” Kreiter said Monday night. “They can still control their destiny, but it’s still a tough pill to swallow.”
Kreiter said it was likely the Sabers would have to forfeit a 37-27 non-district win against West Delaware in Week 1 and a district-opening 28-21 victory against Maquoketa last Friday night. Williamsburg beat Central DeWitt in Week 2, so that game wouldn’t be affected. All statistics for the games would stand.
“It’s not a guarantee,” he said of being forced to forfeit the two wins, “but I’ve talked to the state enough that that’s what’s going to happen.”
Kreiter learned of the infraction and contacted the Iowa High School Athletic Association on Monday morning to report the violation. Kreiter said the Sabers used a player on special teams in both the sophomore and varsity games this season.
“You can play special teams and it does not affect your game count, but still, even though it doesn’t count (toward) the game total, it still counts toward four quarters,” Kreiter said, explaining that football players are limited to playing four quarters on any one night. “He could have played Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night and Friday night,” so long as he played just four quarters any of those nights.
Rules are different in football than basketball, where a player can play six quarters in one night.
“It’s just one of those things,” Kreiter, a former varsity football coach at the school, said. “You’ve got to pay attention to those rules. The average person wouldn’t know it. If you’ve ever dived into the football rulebook, it’s pretty detailed.”
Kreiter said players and parents were notified of the infraction by Central DeWitt football coach Mike Miller and his staff.
“Mike talked with the players,” Kreiter said. “It’s tough on them. Mike and I are on the same page that integrity is paramount.
“We’ll tell the kids to be resilient. They have to get back to work, refocus and move on.”
Despite having their record changed from 2-1 to 0-3, the Sabers still can earn a spot in the playoffs. The top four teams from each of the eight Class 3A districts qualify, and the Sabers have six district games remaining.
“It will be a negative 13-point deficit,” in the state’s playoff points system,” Kreiter said. The points system represents the margin of victory or loss for a team, with the number of points capped at plus-13 or minus-13. “It’s your first district loss; you still are likely to control a lot of your outcome.”